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Super Bowl parties are boon for fledgling downtown venue

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The operators of a fledgling event and entertainment venue two blocks west of Lucas Oil Stadium expect to more than recoup their $1.2 million investment in renovating the space by hosting high-profile parties before the Super Bowl.

The Crane Bay Event Center, headed by former Indianapolis Colt Gary Padjen, expects to spend more than $2 million total, between renovating the warehouse building and picking up its share of expenses for staging two massive events hosted by Rolling Stone magazine on Feb. 4 and 5.

The center at 551 W. Merrill St. will keep the ticket proceeds for the two high-profile events, which in the best-case scenario could approach $3 million, according to Padjen, majority partner in the business.

Padjen also is fielding requests for the space for the days leading up to the Rolling Stone parties, which will be important for the bottom line.

“We will get our money back and make some profit, if everything lines up,” Padjen said Thursday morning.



Rolling Stone is partnering with Crane Bay and two sponsors to host two star-studded events at the center Feb. 4-5.

The magazine will team with rum maker Bacardi to stage “Bacardi Bash: 150 Years Rocking the Party” beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. With ticket prices set at $999, the event will feature musical acts Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes, LMFAO and Lupe Fiasco. Capacity for partygoers is expected to be 1,200 to 1,300 people.

From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m on Sunday, Feb. 5, Rolling Stone will produce “Rock and Roll Fan Tailgate” with sponsor Volkswagen. Seminal alternative rockers Jane’s Addiction will headline with hip-hop band The Roots. An outdoor tent has been added just east of the building for the tailgate event, pushing capacity to near 3,000 people. Tickets are $500.

Crane Bay is picking up a large portion of the expenses for the Rolling Stone parties, Padjen said. Costs include hiring dozens of bartending and security personnel for both events, supplying concert lighting and other audio-visual equipment, and providing the tent for the tailgating event.

Bacardi is expected to supply $750,000 to $1 million in decorations for its event on Feb. 4, he said.

“You couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to have a grand opening,” Padjen said.

Matt Mastrangelo, publisher of Rolling Stone, declined to reveal the total budgets for the two events.

It was important to the magazine to use a local business for hosting the events, Mastrangelo said.

“We’re working with Gary to do something that will build this area around Lucas Oil Stadium,” he said. “We could have taken the option of buying out a venue, hosting an event, taking the money and going back to New York. The thing that got me excited was what I saw going on around here by Lucas Oil Stadium and the whole regentrification of the area. We wanted to be part of that.”

In November, Padjen revealed to IBJ his plans for renovating the 18,000-square-foot building and creating an entertainment venue.

It will remain in operation after the Super Bowl, hosting everything from corporate events to concerts and mixed martial arts bouts.

"We feel like we have a real jewel here that the city will be proud of for years to come," Padjen said.

 

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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