Carson Park Plans Big Country Concert to Raise Funds for Stadium Facelift

Haley Wright, photos by Andrea Paulseth

The “Carson Goes Country” concert will feature David Nail and Joe Diffie, and local band Big Back Yard.
The “Carson Goes Country” concert will feature David Nail and Joe Diffie, with local band Big Back Yard.

On September 10, the Carson Park lights will shine again – not for baseball, but for a large-scale country concert – the first of its kind. Carson Goes Country will be headlined by nationally known recording artists David Nail and Joe Diffie, and local band Big Back Yard. The event is co-hosted by Express Baseball and Wagner’s Lanes/The Complexx, and will be held right in the baseball stadium where the Express games are held, with seating and standing in the bleachers and on the field. The concert is for a good cause too – part of the proceeds will be used to help pay for upgrades to the stadium.

“Carson Park is such a great venue and we feel there’s a great value in giving the community more reasons to come out and enjoy it.” – Andy Neborak, CFO and part-owner of the Eau Claire Express

Andy Neborak, CFO and part-owner of the Eau Claire Express is very excited about the debut of Carson Goes Country, and the opportunity to bring this kind of music event (and perhaps some new fans) to historic Carson Park.

“We previously hosted a beer and BBQ festival called Hogs and Hops at the ballpark. While that event wasn’t the right fit, we have wanted to find a non-baseball event or two to bring to the stadium outside of our season,” Neborak said. “Carson Park is such a great venue and we feel there’s a great value in giving the community more reasons to come out and enjoy it.”

Neborak recognizes that the Chippewa Valley is home to several music festivals, but feels this event – with its location, timing, and lower admission cost – is unique, and will hopefully draw in country music fans from throughout the area, even those who may attend other events as well.

“Music is extremely popular in the Chippewa Valley, obviously. Summer is filled with various music events and opportunities and this will extend the ‘season,’ if you will, for residents of the Chippewa Valley.”

Neborak said he hopes Carson Goes Country will draw 3,000-plus attendees this year, and if successful, it could become an annual event.

Part of the proceeds made from Carson Goes Country are being used to fund improvements to the baseball stadium, which directly benefits the many groups that use the stadium and people who attend events there. “The upgrades that the City Council just approved include replacement of the metal bleachers on the 1st and 3rd base side of the stadium, along with addition of concession stands, permanent restrooms, additional storage and perhaps most importantly, improved handicap accessibility,” Neborak said.

In addition, the City is looking to replace the playing surface with artificial turf that will allow for more and different kinds of events at the stadium.

Tickets cost between $18 and $37 and can be purchased at the Eau Claire Express office (102 E. Grand Ave., Eau Claire) or by phone at (715) 839-7788 during normal business hours (weekdays from 9am to 5pm) or at Carson Park during any Express home game. Tickets are on sale now online at www.northwoodsleague.com/eau-claire-express/tickets/carson-goes-country, as well at Wagner’s Lanes/The Complexx, Stout Ale House, and Thirsty Badger.

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ALERT

Tonight's Summer Concert Series is cancelled.