Country Stampede officially moving - and changing its name

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- It's official. Topeka will be the new home of Country Stampede - or rather, the Heartland Stampede.

(WIBW/Shawn Wheat)

"We are extremely excited the Stampede has decided to call Heartland Motorsports Park their new home and for choosing the Topeka community as the place to take their event to the next level,” says Chris Payne, owner of Heartland Motorsports Park.

Payne, Topeka Mayor Michelle de la Isla, and Heartland Stampede president Wayne Rouse made the announcement during a Thursday morning news conference, just hours before the Country Stampede kickoff.

Not only said the festival has a new home, but it will have a new name: Heartland Stampede. Organizers say the focus of the festival will still be on the "country genre."

“We are excited about Heartland Stampede coming to Topeka,” she said. "The economic impact and exposure this event will bring to our community is something we are all looking forward to.”

De la Isla also announced Luke Combs will headline the first event next year and tickets are already on sale.

The three-day festival initially made the move to the Capital City this year because of flooding its usual home in Tuttle Creek State Park. Last year, Stampede organizers had signed a four-year deal to remain at the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism site through 2021.

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, KDWPT said the agency and Country Stampede organizers agreed to end the deal.

“The Country Stampede had a great run for 23 years in Manhattan; our team members and sponsors are like family. We also have a strong partnership presence in the greater Topeka area, both with media partners and sponsors, and we are excited to bring the Heartland Stampede to Topeka, Kansas,” Rouse said.

In the move, the concert pumped $8 million into the Manhattan economy. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce released a statement saying they were "very disappointed" in the move.

Businesses in Topeka are already feeling the impact of this year’s event.

"Having the Heartland Stampede as the anchor of Topeka’s events gives a whole new meaning to our goal of being a festival city,” Brett Oetting, president of Visit Topeka, said.