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State fair rolls out concert lineup, strategy

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The Indiana State Fair hopes to preserve attendance that’s traditionally tied to big-name concerts even though the events will take place downtown this year.

While announcing this year's concert lineup Monday morning, the fair also said people who buy tickets to the shows at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse will receive a ticket to the fair that they can use any day of the Aug. 3-19 run of the event.

The fair will provide shuttles from the fairgrounds to downtown, but spokesman Andy Klotz said organizers expect most people to drive themselves to the concerts.

The fair announced four major concerts Monday morning: Barry Manilow on Aug. 3, Train on Aug. 4, Journey with Pat Benatar and Loverboy on Aug. 8, and Blake Shelton on Aug. 17.

Last year, six major concerts were scheduled for the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand at the fairgrounds, but two were called off in the wake of the stage collapse that killed seven people.

Fair concerts will be conducted downtown until 2014, then moved to Pepsi Colisum at the fairgrounds after it is renovated.

Klotz said moving the shows downtown shouldn’t affect the fair’s bottom line. The fair’s goal is always to break even on grandstand shows, he said, though they have turned a profit in the past.

“We could still very easily turn a profit,” he said.

Concert capacity at Banker’s Life will be 10,000 to 13,500, depending on the stage setup, according to Pacers Sports & Entertainment. That’s less than the grandstand, which holds about 15,000 people, including open-air seating on the racetrack in front of the stage.

About 12,000 people were in attendance for the country duo Sugarland when high winds toppled the stage rigging Aug. 13, Klotz said.

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  • out the door
    if they move downtown,the trsffic will disappear.if i go downtown to an event why would i want to go into the fairgrounds? most people spend money waiting on the concerts. no concert no traffic.
  • why not
    why don't they just make the structure that is the stage a permnant one with real walls so they can continue outdoor concerts

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

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