4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa, FL 33610
Alcohol: Full bar
The 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre is an open-air theater located at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa off Interstate 4. It's one of the largest concert venues in Tampa Bay, able to accommodate about 20,000 fans in both regular chair-style seating and grass seating.
Opened in 2004, it was formally known as the Ford Amphitheatre before a change in sponsors in June 2010, when 1-800-Ask-Gary (a lawyer and doctor referral service based in Tampa) bought the naming rights. The venue is managed by Live Nation, which also handles ticket sales.
Over the last several years it has hosted big-name acts including Sting, Kenny Chesney, the Jonas Brothers, the Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffett and Bruce Springsteen.
Despite being an outdoor venue, much of the seating is actually covered by a large, white roof, which eases the pain during the hot summer and rainy seasons in Florida. Only the grass seats are uncovered. All events take place rain or shine. Because this venue was designed to serve as a concert amphitheatre, the sound quality for shows is quite good.
Parking lots are adjacent to the amphitheatre; the parking is included in the ticket price. VIP parking, which allows you to park much closer to the venue, also is available. Price varies per event.
Plenty of food and beverage stands are available on each side of the amphitheatre. Food includes the usual burger and hot dog type fare, but also pizza, barbecue and other specialties. Likewise, all manners of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are for sale.
Fans can bring their own food, but are limited to one gallon clear plastic bag per person and one sealed bottle of water person. For those sitting in the grass area, low-profile sand chairs no higher than 9-inches from the ground (with chair back not exceeding 24 inches) are allowed.