Pregame Concert Under Way

Showers Could Visit Concertgoers; Colts Face Saints At Dome

Tens of thousands of concertgoers celebrated the start of the NFL season Thursday as the Indianapolis Colts prepared to start their title defense blocks away.

Gates opened at 3 p.m. for the free 5 p.m. concert on Monument Circle. not far from the RCA Dome, where the Colts will play the New Orleans Saints at 8:30 p.m.

The concert began with rock band Hinder and was to continue with Faith Hill and "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson.

The Colts were granted the league's first game of the 2007 season because they won the Super Bowl in February.

John Mellencamp will perform at the dome at 8 p.m. as part of the NFL's celebration of the new season. The Colts-Saints game is the league's first regular-season match of 2007.

Showers could make things interesting for the outdoor concert downtown. Indianapolis has a 60 percent chance of rain between 4 and 7 p.m., 6News Chief Meteorologist Kevin Gregory said.

Gates for Thursday's concert on Monument Circle opened at 3 p.m.

If it does rain, concertgoers won't be able to use umbrellas. Those items, along with alcohol, glass containers, chairs and weapons, are prohibited from Monument Circle during the event.

Unless lightning is seen, the concert will happen with or without rain, NFL spokeswoman Tracy Pearlman said.

"It's like the Super Bowl. We go rain or shine," she said.

Gregory said any rain showers should be light and intermittent.

Thursday's high temperature in Indianapolis is expected to be 85 degrees.

The following is Thursday's schedule at the circle:

  • 3 p.m.: Gates open at Washington and Meridian streets, Market and Pennsylvania streets and Market and Illinois streets.
  • 5:15 p.m.: Concert starts with Hinder
  • 6:05 p.m.: Kelly Clarkson
  • 7 p.m.: Faith Hill
  • 8:20 p.m.: Show ends
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