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Indy speedway replaces stage following inspection

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A temporary outdoor stage set up to entertain race fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been replaced after it failed to meet new safety standards enacted by the state following last year's deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair.

State building inspectors rejected the privately built stage Thursday, four days before the Indianapolis 500, after speedway officials couldn't provide required technical documents, WTHR-TV reported.

"They were unable to provide the necessary engineering wind and weight load. The speedway was very cooperative. We told them it was noncompliant. They understood, brought in another stage that is totally compliant," said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson.

Greeson said the speedway met the building and engineering standards even before they were made mandatory.

The new rules were adopted after seven people died and 58 were injured when high winds sent stage rigging plunging into a crowd of fans awaiting a concert by country duo Sugarland on Aug. 13.

The regulations also require each stage to be covered by an emergency response plan intended to get fans to safety before severe weather hits.

Under the speedway's plan, WTHR reports, banners and screens are brought down with winds gusting at 20 mph. At 40 mph, the speakers and canopy are lowered.

"There are tens of thousands of dollars of engineering analysis that were required to make sure we know mathematically the limits of that stage in a wind," said Kevin Forbes, the speedway's director of engineering. "At the same time, we are now moving people away. As the wind speeds pick up, they are moving people further and further away from the stage structure."

Forbes was involved in the creation of the new state rules. He said the plans include a clear chain of command to make sure decisions are made and carried out in an emergency.

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  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

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