Chesney’s Indy $500K

When Kenny Chesney visited Indianapolis in 2008, sound problems at Lucas Oil Stadium marred the first and so far only concert scheduled at the NFL stadium. This time, Chesney and stadium officials are joining forces to improve acoustics for his Sept. 19 return.

The Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority found money from the original stadium budget to install huge curtains over exposed concrete sections of the stadium. In the meantime, the Chesney camp has spent about $500,000 to upgrade the tour’s sound output and will have 25 percent more speakers for the Indy stop.

Ed Wannebo, who has been Chesney production manager since 2003, paid a visit to Lucas Oil Stadium and told the Indianapolis Star acoustics were a particularly tough challenge there – as if stadium acoustics weren’t challenging enough.

“The goal is to minimize the exposed reflective curve,” Wannebo told the paper. “Make the room as small as possible and soften it is much as possible.”

So the stadium authority came up with some $200,000 for wall treatment to minimize echos as well as drapes to cover large windows on the ends of the building.

“The (building authority) always had money in the budget to address acoustical issues, once we identified them,” authority executive director John Klipsh told the Star. “We knew we wouldn’t identify them until after the building opened and a concert played here.”