U2 concert pumps money into economy, causes traffic troubles

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Triangle businesses could drum up at least $4 million from Saturday night's U2 concert in Raleigh, 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.

The Irish rock band performed at Carter-Finley Stadium on the latest stop of the band's 360° tour, which featured an enormous stage towering 90 feet in the air.

Hotels across from the stadium were packed this weekend. People lined up around 6 a.m. Saturday morning for lower level access.

An estimated 60,000 people braved traffic back-ups that at one point stretched for 6 miles along Interstate 40.

Earlier in the day, 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 abandoned their vehicles along I-40 and walked to the concert due to the backups. Officials with the state Highway Patrol said troopers planned to follow standard towing procedures for any vehicles blocking traffic.

Troopers based in Raleigh said traffic delays were not caused by poor planning but too many people trying to go to the venue at one time.

Congestion lasted late into Saturday.

© 2009, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 4, 2009 6:25 PM.

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