ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Hard Rock Casino Rockford and its construction partner, Ringland-Johnson, are footing the bill for a brand new concert venue that was unveiled Wednesday by the Rockford Park District.

Plans call for a new 800-square-foot stage to be constructed at Levings Park on South Pierpont Avenue.

The stage will be built from cedar and have a durable metal roof.

Photo: Rockford Park District

“Hard Rock’s commitment to the Rockford region goes beyond the four walls of our casino. We are honored to be a part of the long history of entertainment at Levings Park. We envision this venue as not just an entertainment destination, but as a platform for cultural enrichment, a hub for local talent, and a catalyst for unforgettable experiences,” said Geno Iafrate, President of Hard Rock Casino Rockford.

The park has long been home to live music. Musician Harlan Jefferson says the new facility will inspire future artists.

“I think giving them a platform, something to look forward to that’s more on a national scale, than just a local scale, builds up confidence, builds up confidence. And that’s what we’re trying to do, make a difference in these people’s lives, especially young people’s lives, but, through the arts, and that’s for people of all ages,” he said.

Performers are expected to take to the state in Summer 2024.

The stage is part of an agreement made by Hard Rock International and the Rockford Park District in 2019 when it bid to open a casino in the city.

The company committed to incorporate a music production studio at Washington Park Community Center, build an outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, provide enhanced performance opportunities and make possible improvements to the Sinnisssippi Music Shell. Hard Rock has also agreed to provide support for neighborhood youth programs.

Hard Rock opened a temporary Rockford Casino: A Hard Rock Opening Act at 610 N Bell School Road.

Recently, construction crews installed the final beam on the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford, at the site of the former Clock Tower Resort, at 7801 E. State Street at the I-90 exit ramp.

Hard Rock Internationals says it hopes to hold a grand opening by the end of Summer 2024.