State Farm Center prepares for return of indoor concerts

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — State Farm Center is preparing for fans to once again fill the arena for indoor music concerts.

“Obviously it’s been awhile, so we’re excited to be talking about shows again here at State Farm Center,” Assistant Marketing Director Brad Swanson says.

The first concert at State Farm Center will be Mercy Me, a Christian band, on November 6. At this point, officials still aren’t sure how many fans will be safely allowed to attend. Arena officials are talking to people with other venues across the country that have already started reopening to find out what’s worked and what hasn’t.

Swanson says he was part of a group that attended Big 10 and NCAA tournaments in Indianapolis this March.

He says they discussed things like, “seat-podding, social distancing, one-way traffic on the different concourses, that type of thing, ensuring that people are only eating and drinking in their seats so that they can have their mask on when they’re not at their seats, whether that’s going to the restroom or to the concession stand.”

Swanson says when ticket sales are announced, the arena will follow whatever guidance is in place at that time for crowd sizes.

“We’re trying to anticipate getting back to normal while realizing we aren’t quite there yet,” Swanson says.

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