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Lollapalooza Repairs: Parts of Grant Park to Be Cordoned Off for Two Months

By Kelly Bauer | August 13, 2013 1:36pm | Updated on August 13, 2013 3:59pm
 Grant Park saw less damage than in years past, and Bob O'Neill, head of the Grant Park Conservancy, estimates that repairs will cost $250,000 to $300,000.
Grant Park Recovers from Lollapalooza
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CHICAGO — Portions of Grant Park could be cordoned off for nearly two months as the Chicago Park District restores the area, which was damaged during Lollapalooza.

Lolla promoters C3 Presents is responsible for the repair costs, which Bob O'Neill, head of the Grant Park Conservancy, estimated would cost between $250,000 and $300,000. Brown patches of grass were "as bad as it [got]" this year, O'Neill said.

Damage was down from past years due to dry weather: Repairs after the 2011 festival, which saw Hutchinson Field turn into a large mud pit, were about $800,000. Repairs for this year's festival are expected to last most of the week, and will entail mulch removal and soil replacement, according to a written statement released Tuesday.

The fields will remain closed until the Park District determines the fields are ready for use, and some areas may be fenced off for up to eight weeks, according to the news release.

"They had a record amount of people, more than 300,000. The only thing that saved it was that the ground wasn't as wet as in previous years because July was so dry," O'Neill said.

Jason Rann, 39, of the South Loop, biked through Hutchinson Field as part of his daily commute on Tuesday. He said the park was in better shape than last year and thought it was because Lollapalooza had better weather. He said he wouldn't be bothered "at all" by fenced-off areas during the park repair process.

Aside from repair costs, the Chicago Park District also receives a $1.5 million "guaranteed payment," plus other fees and reimbursements, from C3 Presents to use at its discretion.

“We are committed to keeping Grant Park and the surrounding areas clean, safe and beautiful during and after Lollapalooza,” said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, in a news release. “The weather was kind to us this year, and we expect repairs to be minimal and swift.”