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State Fair officials hope lower prices, upgrades boost crowd

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois State Fair officials hope lower ticket prices and infrastructure renovations will help boost attendance.

The State Journal-Register reports that construction crews have put final touches on the first phase of renovations to the 118-year-old Coliseum building.

Fair officials have cut the admission price of tickets available Sunday to Thursday from $10 to $5.

The fair starts Thursday.

Some ticket prices were raised during the 2016 fair. Fair officials say weather and earlier school start dates also have affected sagging turnout.

Last year, under 370,000 people attended the fair. That was down from over 400,000 who attended in 2017. The fair’s most sparsely attended day last year was Monday when under 25,000 people came. Weekend attendance was closer to 40,000.

Other improvements are several new roofs and freshly-paved streets.

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