Indiana News

Next Year's State Fair Headliners Relocated

Top concerts to be held at Conseco Fieldhouse

11/10/2011

Wreckage from the State Fair stage collapse has now all been cleared away. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
Wreckage from the State Fair stage collapse has now all been cleared away. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)

Next year's State Fair headline concerts will be held at Conseco Fieldhouse instead of at the scene of this year's stage collapse.

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The fieldhouse hosted the fair's Train and Maroon 5 concerts after the stage collapse, with proceeds going to a relief fund for victims. The Indiana Pacers' home arena also hosted Sugarland's return to Indianapolis two months after the tragedy which injured dozens of their fans.

Pacers Sports and Entertainment president Rick Fuson says the team jumped at the chance to lend a hand again. He notes the Pacers' first home was the fairgrounds' Pepsi Coliseum.

Concert tickets will be good for admission to the fair any day during its run. Fairgrounds-to-fieldhouse shuttle buses will operate for fans who want to do both the same day.

State Fair executive director Cindy Hoye announced at a Fair Commission meeting the fair would not build a temporary stage for 2012 events. She referred further questions to a spokesman, who offered few details on the reason for the relocation, other than to say the fair is finalizing its longterm plans.

Commission chairman Andre Lacy says one possibility is to incorporate a stage into the renovation of the Pepsi Coliseum.

The state has commissioned two independent investigations of the collapse of the temporary stage built by an outside contractor for Sugarland. Engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti is reviewing what caused the stage to tumble down as a thunderstorm approached, while a consulting group is reviewing the fair's emergency plans and how well they were carried out.

Officials say the wreckage of the stage has been cleared away and reassembled at a westside warehouse for the Thornton investigation. Crews should finish a final cleanup of the site this week.

The fair has paid out $531,000 in relief-fund claims to 45 victims of the collapse. The deadline to file a claim is Monday -- any money left over will be redistributed to those who have already received payments, in the same proportions.

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