SPAC patrons provide major help in upgrade
Terrace, facade, electronics among pricey items
SARATOGA SPRINGS Higher-level Saratoga Performing Arts Center members will be able to enjoy a new outdoor terrace this year, complete with complimentary beer, wine and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.
The Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the Saratoga Spa State Park will again host the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra along with a variety of rock concerts this spring and summer.
SPAC enthusiasts who pay to become members are provided with perks, such as discounts on tickets, special parking and other amenities.
Those who pay $1,400 to become a SPAC Patron or any membership level above it — as high as a Chairman’s Club membership for $25,000 per season — will be able to enjoy the new Patrons Terrace.
The Patrons Terrace, which is currently under construction, is located near the Charlie Springs Gate where a large tent was pitched in recent years. Jersen Construction is donating all the work and materials for the bluestone patio that will feature a fire pit, a flagstone-capped sitting wall around the entire area, and a new hardwood bar.
Even the beer, wine and food for the terrace are being donated by local purveyors, including Specialty Wines & More of Albany and Saratoga Eagle of Saratoga Springs.
“Less than 50 percent of our costs are covered by tickets,” said Marcia White, SPAC’s president and executive director.
She said SPAC wants to make it attractive for people and corporations to become Patrons, Golden Patrons, President’s Club and Chairman’s Club members. These high-end SPAC members help provide the balance of money to support the world-class ballet and orchestra performances staged every summer.
“At the Patron’s Terrace people can meet with other members of the community and feel part of the heritage and legacy SPAC has brought here for 47 years,” White said Wednesday.
“Offering this benefit is a way of recognizing the support of our highest-level members, whose giving accounts for 80 percent of our contributed revenue,” White said. See www.spac.org for membership details.
Meanwhile, the facade of the SPAC amphitheater is being completely replaced with new, more weather-resistant materials courtesy of a $500,000 gift from William and Susan Dake of Stewart’s Shops.
Lisa Hill, a SPAC spokeswoman, said construction work on the facade, which was started two months ago by Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs, is on target to be complete when college and high school graduations are held in the amphitheater starting in mid-May.
Hill said the terrace work will also be complete in time for the first performances of the season, which include the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on June 7 and the Dave Matthews Band performances June 8 and 9. The June 9 Dave Matthews show is already sold out and the June 8 show is nearly sold out, Hill said.
Work being done at and near the SPAC amphitheater also includes the laying of underground fiber-optic cable that will connect the SPAC offices in the Hall of Springs with the box office and the amphitheater.
The new, more powerful communications cable will bring the facility up to speed in the computerized 21st century.
“We couldn’t be more appreciative,” White said about the gifts from the Dakes, Dave Jersen and his company and the other corporate sponsors of SPAC.
“We will welcome people with new facilities,” she said, adding that the enhancements are being done “at no cost to the state whatsoever.”