Rapino expects a 25% amphitheater sales increase.

Clear Channel Music Group revealed today (June 1) a new summer lawn seating pricing plan in an effort to increase its amphitheater business and provide more value to concertgoers.

A $20 lawn seat will now include parking, and will not be accompanied by any facility fees. The tickets will be available for about 170 shows this summer at all of CCMG's 46 amphitheaters.

The $39 "Grass Pass" will include parking and a $10 food and beverage voucher. These tickets will be made available at about 155 shows at all CCMG amphitheaters. Additionally, CCMG will now allow lawn seat patrons to bring in their own food, blankets and lawn chairs.

Between April 1 and Sept. 30 last year, amphitheaters generated less than $400 million, which is an 8% decline compared to 2003, according to Billboard BoxScore. Clear Channel Music Group president/CEO Michael Rapino expects these new efforts to help increase CCMG's amphitheater business by 25% this year.

"Amphitheaters are the highest volume venues of the summer," Rapino tells Billboard.biz. "The companies that take last year's learning seriously and look at how they can invest in the business are going to find the fruits of their rewards. We've spent the last six months doing a lot of research with the fan. A high percentage said they like sitting on the lawn. We decided to spend most of our energy this summer crystallizing this value proposition."

In November, Rapino announced CCMG's plans to eliminate most facility fees at amphitheaters. Additionally, the company said then that it would spend millions this year upgrading amphitheaters.

Rapino notes that CCMG is now "investing heavily" in video screens at its amphitheaters. "We're about to make a large purchase of screens. One of the key issues with lawn seats are sight lines," he says.

CCMG is additionally expanding concession choices at amphitheaters through new deals with Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, Subway, Au Bon Pain and Legal Sea Foods.

The company is further working to solidify its Instant Live program, which provides concertgoers with live recordings of the event they've just seen right after the show. Rapino notes that a digital download option is being created, and that the company will improve Instant Live at clubs and theaters before offering the service at more amphitheaters this year.