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Saratoga Performing Arts Center – SPAC

108 Avenue of the Pines

Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


$10 Parking Fee per car is available in the Saratoga State Park parking areas.  Parking in the Route 50 lot entrances can be paid for with credit cards.

These items ARE allowed:

  • backpacks
  • soft coolers
  • binoculars
  • blankets and towels
  • sealed water bottles
  • lawn chairs
  • ponchos and rain jackets
  • purses
  • small cameras
  • umbrellas
  • strollers

History and Interesting Facts

On June 30 of 1964 Governor Rockefeller broke ground on the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  On July 9, 1966 the New York City Ballet conducted the first performance in the history SPAC.  The Saratoga Performing Arts Center is located inside of Saratoga Spa State Park.  There are 5,200 individual enclosed seats and also room for an additional 20,000 patrons on the lawn. 

SPAC conducts a combination of classical and orchestra performances along with popular rock, pop, country, and hip hop artists.  Live Nation conducts the concerts and the funds received support the classical series.  There is also a Food and Wine festival annually.

The Doors performed at the SPAC back in the early days.  Since that time in addition to various prominent orchestras the SPAC has seen performances from Tom Petty, Snoop Dogg, Drake, the Cars, Def Leppard, Bruce Springsteen, Avril Lavigne, and many others. 

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

History and Location

Located in New York’s Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Performing Arts Center is an enormous amphitheater situated on the Saratoga Spa State Park’s grounds. The amphitheater hosts a diverse range of performances that makes it one of the most exciting places to visit in the area.

Plans for the construction of the Saratoga Performing Arts center were commenced in the early ‘60s when Duane La Fleche, a newspaperman, spotted a report on a group that was intent on enticing New York Philharmonic to create their summer residence in Stowe, Vermont. La Fleche fronted that the group perform in Saratoga Springs and stay in New York State. Designs for the facility were then commenced by cultural, local civic and legislative leaders who had earlier on considered it an exciting prospect to have a Saratoga Arts Center.

The first meeting to discuss the plans for the construction of the amphitheater was held within a week and a short while after, they were already focusing on the site to be Saratoga Spa State Park. The choice of the site for the construction won the approval and support of Harold Wilm, the state conservation commissioner and discussions with New York City Ballet and New York Philharmonic started.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund together with the New York state and the community joined hands to support the establishment of the center by summer of 1963. The following year, a bulldozer was mounted by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller to break ground. The 10-story amphitheater was constructed and officially opened on the 9th of July, 1966.

Types of Events Hosted

For decades now, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center has been home for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet. The venue hosts quite a diverse range of events and is most popular for classical music soloists. The annual major performance concerts hosted at the venue include acts by Yuja Wang, Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang and Yo-Yo Ma. Each summer, the Jazz Festival is hosted at the venue and it presents emerging and major jazz artists who perform on two stages.

Also hosted at the venue is the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival which is directed by Chantal Juillet, a Canadian violinist. The programs are presented in the Spa Little Theatre. The 2006 composer-in-residence was Sheng. Opera performances are also hosted at the center and are done by Opera Saratoga.

Non-classical concerts are also hosted at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center occasionally. These are exclusively booked by Live Nation, one of America’s leading concert promotion companies.

Famous Acts Hosted

Some of the famous acts that have been hosted at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center include Sting’s Symphonicities Tour, Dave Mathew Band, Martha Graham Dance Company as well as The Grateful Dead hosted in 1985.


The location of the main parking lot is off Route 50. There is also an additional parking lot just across the street. Parking space is also available within the Spa State Park.

Other Interesting Information

  • A total of 40,231viewers showed for the 1985 The Grateful dead performance. This was the largest attendance and still is in the history of the venue.
  • To keep the center running in summer, the venue requires more than 200 seasonal employees 


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