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Wilco set to rock Cougars’ ballpark

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

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♦ 5:30 p.m. July 8

♦ Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, Cherry Lane just west of Kirk Road, Geneva

♦ Tickets, $50 (kids 4 and under, free); parking, $5

♦ (630) 232-8811;;

Updated: July 5, 2012 9:26AM

For those fans who didn’t snag tickets to one of Wilco’s five Chicago shows in one week last December, the band is heading up an all-local bill this summer at a larger venue: the Kane County Cougars stadium in Geneva, and it’s a day the team’s General Manager, Curtis Haug, has been waiting for for some time.

Wilco will perform July 8 at the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, the official name of the home of the Cougars, and it will be the first time in over two decades that the stadium has been used as a concert venue. Also on the bill are singer-songwriter Andrew Bird and Chicago soul band the Congregation.

“We had such a great time at our shows in December, but not everyone was able to get tickets,” Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy said. “So this time, we’ve made sure that there will be plenty of room for everyone, so anyone who wants to can come out and have a great time with us.”

Haug is tickled pink by the idea.

“Chicago has really embraced Wilco, and we’re happy to have them out,” he said. Holding musical concerts at the stadium was a dream of Haug’s, which will soon become a reality — and he’s hoping it will continue. “We’ve been trying to do this for a long time. It’s going to be a nice concert with a nice band that’s incredibly popular in this area. We feel that once this concert is done, hopefully the door will open to a lot more concerts here.”

The convenient location for Fox Valley residents also saves ticket-buyers a long drive home from Chicago post-show.

The show’s finale will be a fireworks display, and despite the $50 admission, ticket sales are going well, Haug said.

Come show day, Haug said, he is confident that crowd control will not be an issue.

“We’ve been doing Cougars baseball here for 22 years. We handle big crowds, it’s what we do,” he said.

Seating will be mostly in the stands, but standing room will also be available on the field.

In addition to Wilco, The Great American Road Trip crew will be in Geneva to register voters as part of a drive held at Dave Matthews Band, Wilco, Phish and Furthur concerts across the country.

Their trek, organized by the nonpartisan voter registration organization HeadCount, will collectively cover over 15,000 miles and 103 concerts, and help tens of thousands of people register to vote.

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