Bass Pro Founder’s Thunder Ridge Arena Set to Open in May

Thunder Ridge Nature Arena – a decade in planning, development, and construction with the ambition to create America’s most beautiful outdoor amphitheater – is scheduled to open this May as a one-of-a-kind immersive outdoor experience.

Located in Ridgedale, Missouri, just a few miles from Branson, Thunder Ridge Nature Arena combines the natural beauty of the Ozarks with the stunningly beautiful architecture that seamlessly integrates into the surrounding environment.

The opening of the arena is significant due to the enormous, anticipated long-term impact on tourism, the regional economy, and conservation, along with the world-class talent that it will bring to the community.

“We all love our beautiful Ozarks and are proud to be able to preserve and share the beauty of the place we are blessed to call home with others for generations to come,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops.

Johnny set the stage for Thunder Ridge preserve in 2019 when the sportsman-conservationist established a new not-for-profit Foundation whose mission is to conserve land and inspire future generations to be good stewards of land and wildlife. Johnny and the Bass Pro Shops family of Outfitters have gifted the entire entity that owns the 1,200-acre Thunder Ridge preserve, including all buildings and infrastructure improvements, to be permanently set aside as part of a not-for-profit foundation that is committed to advancing the cause of conservation.

All net proceeds from events will go toward supporting conservation and further enhancing the venue. The not-for-profit Foundation’s mission is to conserve natural resources and inspire future generations to be good stewards of land, water, and wildlife. The Foundation is a group of charitable organizations that also operates the nearby 10,000-acre Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, Audubon Signature Nature Golf Courses, and the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, the five-time winner of USA Today’s America’s Best Aquarium. Thunder Ridge’s focus is reinvesting back into conservation projects in the Ozarks region.

Extraordinary new 120-foot-tall Ozarks Nature Tower 


As he has done for many years, Johnny relied upon highly skilled Ozarks craftsmen to create historically relevant structures that blend with nature. They fused the entertainment showcase with a capacity of 20,000-plus into the world around it with every seat in the 1,200-acre nature preserve holding breathtaking views of Table Rock Lake and infinite forested Boston Mountain vistas.

Thunder Ridge Nature Arena will be an unparalleled outdoor live entertainment experience including the extraordinary “Ozarks Nature Tower.” Rising 12 stories from the Ozark limestone earth, the remarkable structure will house luxury tower suites, each two stories with private bars, outside decks, fireplaces, and great views of Table Rock Lake and the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

A relocated centuries-old barn will welcome guests to America’s most dramatic new nature arena 

At the main North entrance, a centuries-old barn will become part of the guest experience. Fans will enjoy a variety of food and beverage concessions, VIP suites, and corporate meeting spaces, with access to the dramatic site made convenient with the recently completed widening of Highway 86.

  “There may be sites on this Earth that are as pretty, but there’s nothing prettier than this right here. It is gorgeous.” – Garth Brooks



Industry giant ASM Global is contracted to manage and operate the facility and has partnered with Live Nation to produce live music events.  Thunder Ridge’s unveiling has begun attracting the attention of superstars like Chris Stapleton whose upcoming June appearance sold out in minutes. Tickets for Luke Bryan’s July 27th concert go on sale February 16th.

ASM Global CEO Ron Bension said, “We are so pleased to join with Johnny Morris to operate this unique and spectacular venue. This remarkable creation is more than a place to see a concert. It’s a destination in itself. A true experience unlike any other.”

Live Nation’s President Bob Roux said, “Thunder Ridge will absolutely be a must-stop for some of the biggest musical acts in the industry. The stunning surroundings, beautiful structures and the venue itself create an extraordinary moment for guests.”

Experiences at Thunder Ridge will go well beyond concerts. Festivals, airshows, professional bull riding, equestrian events, and trade shows with a variety of other extreme competition events also contemplated. Entertainment in the Great Outdoors is the goal for audiences of every age.

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