MetraPark concerts canceled, rescheduled

Due to the destruction of MetraPark’s Rimrock Auto Arena by tornado, two of the largest shows the booked for the end of the year in Billings have been canceled: Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley.

“We regret to tell you that we are going to have to cancel both Brad Paisley, slated for September 26, and Carrie Underwood, slated for December 10,” said Sandra Hawke, MetraPark director of marketing and sales, in a media briefing on June 25. “There is just no way those stages can configure elsewhere.”

Considered an economic engine of the area, the MetraPark arena has a seating capacity of 10,950, making it is the largest entertainment complex in the state. Nearby comparable venues include Bozeman’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse and Casper’s Event Center.

MetraPark’s closet option is the grandstand area, which seats 6,000, but is unusable for concerts in inclement weather.
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MetraPark roof ‘decimated’

A brief tornado in the Billings Heights touched ground and tore off the roof of the Rimrock Auto Arena, leaving extensive damage to the building’s exterior and interior.

MetraPark Marketing director Sandra Hawke released this information late Sunday:

“As many of you are aware, a tornado on Sunday afternoon ripped through Billings Heights, decimating the roof of the Rimrock Auto arena as well as neighboring businesses.

MetraPark G.M., Bill Dutcher, was on site shortly after the storm struck and said the damage to the roof of the Rimrock Auto Arena is very substantial including the roofing material and the deck below.”

Dutcher and others are just beginning to assess the extent of the damage and have asked the public not to attempt to enter the area due to hazzards, debris, and downed power. Monday they expect to update the public as more information is available.

Upcoming concerts scheduled at MetraPark include the fair’s lineup (Jason Aldean on Aug. 13, the Scorpions on Aug. 14), as well as Irish musical group Celtic Woman Aug. 22 and the Carnival of Madness Tour on Aug. 25 featuring Shinedown, Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, and 10 Years.