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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. The Walgreens did not get a lot of traffic. It was not located on the corner of the intersection, and not really visible from Emerson. Meanwhile the CVS there is huge and right on the corner. I am guessing a lot of people drove by a million times and never knew the Walgreens was there. Although, with the new Walmart market going in, that area could really see a lot of increase in traffic soon.

  2. You folks don't have a clue. There is a legal way to enter this country and to get aid. This left unchecked could run us to ruin quickly. I also heard that 'supporters' were getting major $$ to take them in? Who's monitoring this and guess who pays the bill? I support charitable organizations... but this is NOT the way to do it!

  3. Apparently at some time before alcohol has been served at the fair. The problem is that beer or wine used to be a common drink for people before soft drinks and was not thought to be that unusual. Since many folks now only drink to see how much they can drink or what kind of condition they can end up in it becomes more problematic. Go to Europe and its no big deal just as if you had sodas of milk to drink everyday. Its using common sense that is lacking now days.

  4. To address the epic failure of attracting race fans to both the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 would take too much of my time to write. Bottom line Boles is clueless and obviously totally out of touch with the real paying fan base. I see nothing but death spin coming for the Brickyard, just like Indy. Get somebody in a place of power that understands what race fans want.

  5. I am a race fan through & through. It doesn't matter if it's Indy cars or Nascar. I love a great race. I go to several other tracks each year and you can see the entire track. I know Indy has tradition, but fans want to see the entire race. I sit in the Penthouse, am almost 60 years old, and would like to see a better TV screen in turn 1 so you can see the entire race. Then I think Indy needs to install an escalator so us old folks can make it up to the Penthouse and down again if we want more options to purchase food and drinks. Just a race fans opinion. Lights won't make the race any better, but you might be able to see the TV better at night. Turn 1's screen needs replaced with a better and bigger screen.

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