FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — FirstBank Amphitheater held its first concert on Tuesday in Franklin with country stars Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line, among others.
But the main event was getting to the new venue, as traffic was backed up for at least two miles.
“I was waiting on some LifeFlight or something to come in because I thought it was a major issue,” neighbor Scott Morris said.
Morris lives close to the amphitheater and got caught in the congestion on his way home. He said his concern grew as he saw the behavior from concert goers as they waited in the traffic.
“You have people cutting through people’s neighborhoods. You have people, we actually had reports of people having to use the restroom and I understand that, and they would get out and go use the restroom in people’s yards. That is their private property,” Morris said.
Morris does not believe the infrastructure in Thompson’s Station can handle the 7,500-seat venue.
“As you might imagine a big project like this goes through a lot of scrutiny in review on multiple levels,” amphitheater owner Rick McEachern said.
McEachern said traffic studies were conducted as a part of city and county approvals.
“This was a little bit longer, or maybe a lot longer, than any of us expected,” McEachern said.
But McEachern said his staff is quickly working to fix the issues so that fans and neighbors can move seamlessly.
“Stop light sequencing and making sure the traffic can flow more freely. Making sure the signage is in the right place, so people know where to turn and making sure we have parking personnel positioned in the right spots. And all of these need fine tune and adjustment,” Morris said.
On Thursday, the amphitheater hosted Greta Van Fleet and traffic was noticeably calmer.
Thompson’s Station Mayor Corey Napier released a statement saying that the venue generates highly desirable sales tax revenue to the community. And like many other large-scale events there will be delays.
Napier said officials are working together to provide a solution to the anticipated congestion on concert nights.