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Deal reached on venue for outer harbor concerts; Four summer events planned at former site of Pier Restaurant

Concertgoers will have a new outdoor music venue on Buffalo's waterfront to enjoy this summer.

A local promoter has reached a deal that will make the city's outer harbor the site of up to four concerts, and possibly more.

After more than a week of stops and starts, Funtime After Dark and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority reached a deal, which was announced Wednesday.

The shows will be held on a 7-acre site near the former Pier Restaurant.

Tickets for the concerts will range from $30 for presale to $100 for a VIP ticket. Parking will cost between $5 and $10.

Funtime After Dark -- which consists of business partners Chris Ring, Artie Kwitchoff and Donnie Kutzbach -- has been involved in previously successful concert series, including Rockin' at the Knox, Thursday at the Square and Buffalo Rocks the Harbor.

Ring has previously said he was looking for a new venue that could draw between 5,000 and 10,000 people -- something in between the capacities of Artpark and Darien Lake.

He has also previously mentioned bands Avicci, Black Keys and Government Mule in saying he hopes to try to attract "some of the larger acts out there today."

In their statement, the parties said the concerts will range in genres, including alternative, Southern and folk rock.

"It's always exciting to bring great concerts to Buffalo," Ring said, "but what's even more special is the fact that we get to be a part of the bigger picture, which is to get more people downtown and enjoy the beautiful Buffalo waterfront. We hope these concerts will help do just that."

Early last week, the authority's commissioners rejected a proposal recommended by staff, seeking additional financial considerations.

The parties met again Friday, reviving the possibility of staging concerts on the waterfront.

Funtime After Dark will pay the NFTA a $20,000 licensing fee and 20 percent of parking revenues.

The NFTA will also be paid an undisclosed security deposit to make sure the site is cleaned up and will have to approve in advance a safety and security plan.

NFTA Commissioners Howard A. Zemsky and Peter G. Demakos, who both voted against the original proposal March 26, touted the deal Wednesday.

"We are excited about this opportunity to increase public access to the waterfront," Zemsky said, "and the selection of a designated promoter will free up staff time, allowing them to fully focus on our core mission of serving the transportation needs of our customers."