Sudbury's Grace Hartman Amphitheatre is expected to be busier this summer.

The city says it has already hosted an event and there are about 40 bookings so far for the season.

Last year, there were only 28 events held at the $5 million concert venue, built largely with stimulus money in 2011.

The city’s recreation co-ordinator, Jeff Pafford, said many of the new events are being held by community groups.

"We've had a lot of attendance through with some of the successful events, so people's eyes are opened to the facility and are thinking about how they can work with their community group or non-profit association to host an event there," he said.

Sudbury city councillors have been disappointed the amphitheatre hasn't attracted big concerts, resulting in less revenue than expected.

The city is currently searching for a firm to draw up a business plan for the amphitheatre. Council has frequently debated how to improve the brand new concert venue — and how to attract more events, putting more money into city coffers.

A new Sudbury arena?

City councillor Terry Kett said he's proud of the amphitheatre, but noted it could have been better if the city had time to properly plan and not rush to meet stimulus funding deadlines.

"It's really hard for municipalities to plan properly, when the province keeps its cards so close to its chest," Kett said.

Kett said he's hoping the coming infrastructure funding will be geared to repairing existing roads and bridges.

But if it's focused on facilities, that could move a project like a new Sudbury arena up to the top of the wishlist.

Councillor Fabio Belli said the city needs a new arena, but said it should get private dollars, where other projects will not.

"You're not going to have anybody from the private sector say, 'look, I'm going to invest in your roads, build your roads,'" Belli said.

"There's no money in it, there's no return on investment."

Exactly what the province is offering in infrastructure money will be included in its budget, which will be released May 2.