Toronto

The Molson Amphitheatre is now the Budweiser Stage, and not everyone is happy about it

Molson Canadian Amphitheatre to become Budweiser Stage in new partnership between Live Nation Entertainment and Budweiser.

Live Nation and Budweiser ink national partnership to revitalize venue

Budweiser and Live Nation announced Friday that they'll be renaming the Ontario Place music venue to Budweiser Stage. (@budweiserstage)

In what some are calling the latest "Skydome-to-Rogers-Centre" switch-up, Budweiser and Live Nation Entertainment have teamed up to revitalize the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, including changing the name of the outdoor music venue to Budweiser Stage.

The seating and open-air concept of the venue won't change with the new partnership, but May promises there will be a 'clean-up' of the space. (CBC/Patrick Morrell)

"Our partnership marks the beginning of great things to come for music fans from coast to coast," said Todd Allen, vice-president, marketing, Labatt Breweries of Canada, in a press release. 

"We're also thrilled that the iconic venue for musicians at Ontario Place will carry the name Budweiser Stage, and that music fans will now be able to enjoy Canada's most popular beer at the country's premier music venue."

It seems, for now, concert-goers aren't sharing the same enthusiasm.

Not so fast, Molson fans. With this new deal, the partners have also announced they'll be decreasing wait times through adding more concession locations, adding more cashless payment options, refurbishing all concession stands and enhancing pre-shows by allowing you to enter the venue sooner. Of course, you'll also be able to sip on a Bud, as well as Mill Street, Palm Bay and Corona products.

John May, president of media and corporate partnerships with Live Nation Canada, said they're watching the Twitter feeds and aren't surprised by a bit of resistance.

"I don't see any real, direct comparison to the changing of the SkyDome to the Rogers Centre as it relates to this venue," he said. "We've always had a great corporate partnership related to the venue, and we do respect the relationship we had for many years with Molson."

May said venue name changes are a reality of the music and entertainment business, and their focus is to provide fans with continued access to their favourite international artists.

"We certainly respect everybody's passion about the venue and the great memories that have been created over the many years of great performances," he said. 

Summer concerts will now be hosted at Toronto's Budweiser Stage, the new name for the Molson Amphitheatre. (Canadian Amphitheatre)

The multi-year, national partnership comes after about a year of discussions. Live Nation owns the venue, although it's located at Ontario Place, which is provincial property. May said they did run the new name by the Ontario government for their approval. 

All changes, which will be mostly signage and aesthetic adjustments, will be done in time for the first show of the summer.

Budweiser is also involved in the Toronto music event North by Northeast (NXNE). 

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