IMS Eyes Start Of Goal To Use Venue For More Non-Racing Events

The July 4 Rolling Stones show at Indianapolis Motor Speedway "is the first time in the facility's 106-year history that a concert will happen on a date outside a race weekend," and live music "is part of an overall strategy" to build IMS' brand and its core business of auto racing, according to David Lindquist of the Indy Star.

IMS President Doug Boles said that track officials "explored the idea of a stand-alone music festival about four years ago but lacked the showbiz expertise to move forward." The venue last summer then "formed a relationship with concert company Global Live, a new enterprise led by the former CEO of AEG Live."

With its famed 2.5-mile oval, IMS "has many places to tuck a concert stage." A spot in the infield northeast of Pagoda Plaza "was selected for the Stones because of its easy access for production trucks, its proximity to hospitality suites in the Pagoda and Tower Terrace and an ability to ring the site with concessions, merchandise and restrooms." Boles expects that more than 50,000 people "will attend the Stones show."

Boles: "Whatever the number is, we want to give people an experience they feel is a good one and they want to come back and do this again. Our hope is that this isn't a one-and-done thing but something you're going to see more often at the Speedway." But Lindquist asked, "Is entering the concert business worth the trouble for the track?"

Boles acknowledged the profit margin "could be thin" on the IMS show. He added, "Weather's going to play a big factor (in ticket sales)." Boles said that the track "is happy to be aligned with Global Live, a company that includes Bon Jovi manager Paul Korzilius among its executives." David Lindquist/Indy Star

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