Carter Finley Stadium expects 70K

Triangle - September 30, 2009; Raleigh, NC - The Wake County Sheriff’s Office and a local Irish entrepreneur prepare to welcome international rock group U2 in grand style in anticipation of this Saturday’s concert at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC.

According to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, the security plans for U2 are, “off the chain.”  In all the concerts law enforcement has worked at Carter Finley over the years, including the Rolling Stones, the Department has never seen such an intense security detail plan for a band.  In preparation for Saturday’s event, the Sheriff’s Office sent a team to U2’s concert in Boston earlier this month to get and idea of what to expect.  Most of the tight security detail work for U2.  The Wake County Sheriff’s Office will provide about half the amount of deputies that normally staff an NC State football game.  However, there are approximately 600 event staff working the concert which is expecting 65,000 - 70,000 people.

The U2 360 Tour features a 360-degree stage placed toward the center of the Carter Finley’s field.  (see attached photo)  The unique design has a large, four-legged steel structure called “The Claw” that holds the speaker system and cylindrical video screen and hovers above the performance area. The stage is surrounded by a circular ramp, which connects to the stage using rotating bridges. Fans with general admission tickets can be placed both outside of the ramp, as well as between the ramp and stage.

The stage isn’t quite set for U2’s arrival in Raleigh, but it’s getting there.

More than 250 people are in the process of constructing the stage in the center of the football field at North Carolina State University’s Carter-Finley Stadium, where on Saturday night the legendary band will perform in Raleigh for the first time.

The 360-degree stage features “The Claw,” a towering, four-legged steel structure that holds the speaker system and a cylinndrical video screen over the performance area. A circular ramp will connect the stage to rotating bridges.

The concert on Saturday night is expected to draw 65,000 to 70,000 people. More than 600 event staff will be working the concert, and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office will provide about half the deputies that normally staff a North Carolina State University football game. A security team employed by U2 will handle many of the details for the show.

To prepare for the event, the sheriff’s office sent a team of deputies to Boston last month to see how the security detail is managed.

The daily costs of the production are an estimated $750,000, and that doesn’t include the stage construction. Truck rentals, transportation and staff wages comprise the majority of that $750,000.

The concert is so big, it is even spilling over all the way to Raleigh’s Glenwood South. Businessman Niall Hanley, the man behind the Hibernian Irish Pubs in Raleigh and Cary, is holding a pre-concert event Thursday at his other major venture, the popular night club Solas. That party will feature U2 cover band “Vertigo.”

“Raleigh has truly arrived,” says Hanley, who, like U2, hails from Ireland. “For a band of U2’s caliber to come to Raleigh shows just how much our city has grown in its reputation as a brilliant place to live, work and visit.”

Raleigh based Irish businessman Niall Hanley is kicking off pre-concert events at Solas in Glenwood South where he’s hosting U2 tribute band “Vertigo” on Thursday, October 1st at 10:00 pm.  “Raleigh has truly arrived,” says Hanley who already attended U2’s concert stop in Dublin, Ireland in August.  “For a band of U2’s caliber to come to Raleigh  shows just how much our city has grown in its reputation as a brilliant place to live, work and visit.”