Traffic problems cause some people to miss U2 concert
Posted October 4, 2009 5:33 p.m. EDT
Updated October 18, 2011 9:37 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Not everyone who paid to see Irish rock band U2 perform at Carter-Finley Stadium got to see the Saturday night show due to traffic back-ups.
"We were really disappointed,” concertgoer Carrie White said.
White spent $250 on U2 360° tour tickets for her husband’s birthday. She said they were stuck in traffic for three hours, and were then told no parking was available.
"One of the state troopers told us, ‘Too late. All lots are full. Go home and see you next year,’” White said.
The state Highway Patrol said the traffic congestion was not due to poor planning, but rather too many people trying to come to the concert all at once.
On WRAL's online interactive community GOLO, on person wrote: "When an event for 60,000 people is scheduled at a certain time, about 60,000 people are going to show up to that venue at that time. Did they expect people to come in shifts?"
Another person wrote, "I was very disappointed with what I witnessed last evening. I will never participate in any event at Carter Finley Stadium or RBC Center in Raleigh AGAIN! I have seen many concerts over the years and the way this (traffic) was handled was a joke."
Join WRAL viewers talking about traffic problems at the concert.
An estimated 60,000 concertgoers braved the traffic back-ups that at one point stretched for 6 miles along Interstate 40.
Earlier Saturday, the state Department of Transportation warned motorists of significant traffic congestion on roads leading to the stadium, as well as the general vicinity.
There were some people who abandoned their vehicles along I-40 and walked to the concert due to the backups. Congestion lasted late into Saturday.
White said she called Ticketmaster in hopes of getting a refund, but she was told by a manager that no refunds were being offered because the concert went on as scheduled.
Meanwhile, crews were still dismantling the stage Sunday.
The band’s circular performance area was surrounded by green prongs that recalled claws towering 90 feet in the air. Crews took four days to build the steel structure. It will take two days to dismantle and load the structure out of the stadium.
John Elks was so impressed with the elaborate stage Saturday night that he brought his sons to the stadium Sunday to see it being taken down.
"It was awesome. It was very good. It was very exciting,” Elks said of the concert.
U2 concert pumps money into economy
Triangle businesses could drum up at least $4 million from U2's concert, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"This is an internationally known band, so the fact that they picked Raleigh over any other spot in North Carolina and made it one of their stops on the East Coast, that's pretty phenomenal," said Loren Gold, executive vice president of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hotels across from the stadium were packed this weekend by people attending the concert.