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Expansion proposed for Indianapolis amphitheater

INDIANAPOLIS – Plans are being considered to expand and upgrade the outdoor concert amphitheater at a state park in downtown Indianapolis.

Executives of concert promoter Live Nation told the White River State Park commission on Thursday it would invest $10 million toward the project.

The proposal would expand the park's current 7,400-capacity amphitheater and put seating under a roof similar to Live Nation's larger Klipsch Music Center the northern Indianapolis suburb of Noblesville, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1jUQE4p ).

White River State Park executive director Bob Whitt said Live Nation's proposal is "pretty bold. They are fully willing to be involved in every way."

The expansion proposal comes a few weeks after another developer proposed an amphitheater for the site of a closed General Motors metal-stamping plant near the park. The amphitheater is among four redevelopment plans under consideration by the trust that's overseeing the cleanup and sale of the factory's 102-acre site.

That new venue would compete with the White River State Park amphitheater and Klipsch Music Center, which can seat about 24,000 people.

Live Nation has promoted concerts at the state park amphitheater since it debuted in 2004. The expansion plans include a permanent stage, artist dressing rooms and seating in the range of 8,000 to 12,000 people.

Whitt said financial arrangements and designs for the project still need to be worked out. The commission could issue revenue bonds to finance the work.

"We don't expect $10 million would cover the entire cost," he said.

Whitt said the expansion could be completed in time for the 2016 concert season.

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