Lucas Oil Stadium
The Luke, The Drum, The House That Peyton Built
Location500 South Capitol Avenue</br>Indianapolis, Indiana 46225
United States
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Broke groundSeptember 20, 2005
OpenedAugust 16, 2008
OwnerIndiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority
(State of Indiana)[1]
OperatorCapital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County, Indiana
Construction cost$ 720 million[3]
($735 million in 2020 dollars[4])
ArchitectHKS, Inc.
A2so4 Architecture[5]
Project ManagerHunt/Smoot[3]
Structural engineerWalter P Moore/Fink Roberts & Petrie[6]
General ContractorMezzetta Construction, Inc.[3]
CapacityAmerican Football: 63,000 (expandable to 70,000)
Basketball: 70,000 (approx)
Super Bowl: 70,000 (approx)
Indianapolis Colts (NFL) (2008–present)
IHSAA (Football State Finals) (2008–present)
ISSMA (Band State Finals) (2008–present)
NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four (2010, 2015)
NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four (2016)
Bands of America (2008–present)
Drum Corps International (2009–2018)
Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
Circle City Classic (2008–Present)
Big Ten Football Championship Game (2011–2015)[7]

Lucas Oil Stadium is a multi-purpose sports stadium in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The stadium celebrated its grand opening on August 24, 2008,[8] and its ribbon-cutting ceremony August 16, 2008. It replaced the RCA Dome as the home field of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The stadium was constructed to allow the removal of the RCA Dome and expansion of the Indiana Convention Center on its site. The stadium hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. The stadium is on the south side of South Street, the block south of the site of the former RCA Dome.

HKS, Inc. is the architectural firm responsible for the stadium’s design, with Walter P Moore working as the Structural Engineer of Record. The stadium features a retractable roof and window wall, thus allowing the Colts to play both indoors and outdoors. The surface is FieldTurf. The elements of kinetic architecture will provide for quick conversion of the facility to accommodate a variety of events.

On February 28, 2006, Indiana native Forrest Lucas announced that his company, Lucas Oil, purchased the naming rights for $121 million over 20 years.[9]

The exterior of the new stadium is faced with a reddish-brown brick trimmed with Indiana Limestone. This is similar to several other sports venues in the area such as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Pepsi Coliseum. This is also meant to complement other older structures in the downtown area.[2]


Seating capacity for football games is 63,000; an increase of more than 5,000 over the RCA Dome.[3] For football, the stadium can be expanded to a capacity of 70,000 for large events, such as the Super Bowl. The stadium's basketball configuration can exceed the 70,000 minimum seating capacity required to host the NCAA Final Four.

Lucas Oil Stadium offers 137 luxury suites, including 8 field suites, and 12 super suites. In addition, it contains the Quarterback Suite, a semi-private 200-seat party room.[2]

The stadium contains two massive high definition scoreboards, each one Script error wide and Script error tall, which are situated in the northwest and southeast corners of the stadium[1]

Mechanized retractable roofEdit


Lucas Oil Stadium Interior

Lucas Oil Stadium has a retractable roof designed by Uni-Systems that, like the Veltins-Arena, divides lengthwise into two retractable panels, with each half sliding down the sloping roof of the stadium into the open position. The stadium roof is gabled, with the peak in the center of the field, paralleling the sidelines.[2] A cable drum drive system drives the retractable roof panels up and down the sloped track. Rather than dragging the 1½" diameter galvanized cables across the fixed roof, this system’s patented design lays the roof cable down, and then picks it back up. In nine minutes, the roof panels will simultaneously move to the open position at the touch of a button. To guard the stadium’s interior from weather conditions the roof is designed with a large cap that will run the length of a sealed overlap between the parting roof panels.[3] Just beneath the sealed overlap is a large trough, finalizing the retractable roof’s layers of protection. It is the only retractable roof in the country with two moving panels that will meet in a peak above the center of the stadium. The roof boasts the largest opening—a Script error hole to the sky—of all current and planned NFL stadiums with retractable roofs.[citation needed]

The Lucas Oil Stadium retractable roof system is operated by 32 cables, each 1½” in diameter, with galvanized right and left hand lay.[1] They were manufactured specifically for this project by Wire Rope Corporation of America and furnished by The Tway Company Inc. located in Indianapolis. The lengths vary from 232’6” to 245’ and include a Johnson Wedge Socket installed on one end that terminates the cables at the roof peak 288’ above the stadium floor.

NFL rules for roof openingEdit

The home team determines if roof is to be opened or closed 90 minutes before kickoff. The roof remains open unless precipitation or lightning is within the vicinity of the stadium, the temperature drops below 40°F, or wind gusts are greater than Script error, in which case the roof operators will close the roof. Once the roof is closed, it may not be reopened.[1]

"Lucas Oil Stadium's retractable roof was open for the first regular (2008) season game, but closed on the second because of the possibility of thunderstorms," said Pete Ward, Colts senior executive vice president. The new stadium is not waterproof, he said. The field has no drainage and speakers, scoreboards and other electronic equipment are exposed, so the Capital Improvement Board closely monitors pregame weather. Because there was a 30-percent possibility of "pop-up" storms and the roof requires 12 minutes to close, the decision was made at 2:30 to close the door.[2]

Moveable window wallEdit

File:Lucas Oil Stadium - opening.JPG

A large windowed gate at the northern end of the stadium allows additional light while closed and allows for a more open feel while open. It was the largest movable glass wall in the world until Cowboys Stadium was completed.[3] The transportable window wall is Script error by Script error, and composed of six Script error × Script error glass-clad panels. Each panel rides on a steel rail while the wall opens and closes, and is supported by two hardened steel wheels. The window separates at the center, with three panels amassed on each side when in the open position. The six wall panels move simultaneously during opening and closing in only six minutes. The windows seal when closed, fully shielding building occupants from all weather conditions.[1]

The retractable window offers a spectacular view of downtown Indianapolis during games, concerts and other events due to the stadium's angled position on the city block.

Gate sponsorshipEdit

The four gates leading into Lucas Oil Stadium are each named for sponsoring corporation. The ground-level concourses of their respective gates are feature banners and floor coverings with the corporations' logos, advertisements and merchandise displays. Each corporation is reported to have paid in excess of $1 million.[2]


File:Lucas Oil Stadium 2010 Final Four 04 01 2010.JPG

Drum Corps International (DCI) announced on August 9, 2006 that it would move its corporate offices to Indianapolis and that the DCI World Championships would be the inaugural event for the stadium and would be held at Lucas Oil Stadium every year through 2018.[3] Because the stadium would not be complete in time, DCI announced on April 4, 2008 that it would move the event to Memorial Stadium on the campus of Indiana University for 2008. The competition was held for the first time at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2009.[4]

The first games played at Lucas Oil Stadium occurred on August 22, 2008 and were part of the PeyBack Classic, featuring Indiana High School Football games played between Noblesville High School and Fishers High School in Game 1, followed by New Palestine High School and Whiteland Community High School in Game 2.[5] On November 26, 2008, Cardinal Ritter High School became the first high school to win a state championship on the field, beating Sheridan High School 34-27 for the class A state title.

Lucas Oil Stadium and the city of Indianapolis made a bid to host Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. On May 20, 2008, the bid was successful, defeating Houston, Texas and Glendale, Arizona for that right. The stadium is also host to the annual NFL Scouting Combine in February.

The 2008 NFL season featured the first NBC Sunday Night Football game of the season in the stadium, as the Colts faced the Chicago Bears in a rematch of Super Bowl XLI.[6] The Colts lost the game 29-13. Indianapolis won its first 2 NFL playoff games held at Lucas Oil Stadium, beating the Baltimore Ravens 20-3 in a 2009 AFC divisional playoff and the New York Jets 30-17 in the 2009 AFC Championship Game to reach Super Bowl XLIV.

In addition to professional football games, the stadium hosted the semifinal and final rounds of the Men's Final Four in 2010, with the Women's Final Four scheduled to be hosted there in 2016. Historically, Indianapolis has been a popular choice for the Final Four. The NCAA has its headquarters there, and the event comes on a five-year rotation. The Big Ten Conference also played the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3, 2011. The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Michigan State Spartans 42-39 in that game.[7]

Other regular events include the Bands of America Grand National Championships[8] and the Indiana Marching Band State Finals,[9] both major events for the city in Marching Band competitions. The Drum Corps International World Championships are scheduled the site annually through the 2018 season, and the Circle City Classic that is an annual American football game featuring two historically black colleges/universities (HBCUs) that is held in October.

On September 13, 2008, country music singer Kenny Chesney held the first public concert at the stadium.[10]

Annual eventsEdit

Notable past eventsEdit

Notable future eventsEdit


Groundbreaking for the stadium took place on September 20, 2005. It was originally referred to as Indiana Stadium until Lucas Oil purchased the naming rights. The total cost of Lucas Oil Stadium was $720 million. The stadium is being financed with funds raised by the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis, with the Indianapolis Colts providing $100 million. Marion County has raised taxes for food and beverage sales, auto rental taxes, innkeeper's taxes, and admission taxes for its share of the costs. Meanwhile, there has been an increase in food and beverage taxes in the eight surrounding doughnut counties (with the exception of Morgan County) and the sale of Colts license plates.[11]

The County Commissioners of each county voted whether to levy the 1% food and beverage tax proposed by Marion County. Sweetening the deal for the those counties was the fact that half of the revenue from the tax would stay in the respective county. Morgan County was the only county to turn down the offer, yet in a later vote, it levied its own 1% tax - thus keeping all of its additional generated revenue.


In August 2006, the Capital Improvement Board which, which operates the stadium, estimated that daily operating expenses of the new stadium would be $10 million more per year than the RCA Dome. The board urged the Indiana General Assembly to authorize funding to cover the shortfall.[12] The Indiana Legislature considered a bill to raise sales taxes statewide to cover the shortfall, however this plan faces stiff opposition from legislators outside the Indianapolis metro area.[13]

The assembly ultimately authorized a tax increase in Indianapolis-Marion County. In addition, the CIB trimmed staff and cut $10 million from its budget. Still, the agency anticipated a $20 million operating deficit for Lucas Oil Stadium in 2009. Anticipated expenses are $27.7 million—far outstripping the $7.7 million CIB expects to collect from its share of revenue from stadium events.[14] The Colts organization has been criticized for the favorable lease terms and the high percentage of revenue it can keep under the terms of its agreements with the stadium authorities and there have been calls for the team to cover the shortfalls of the CIB. The Colts responded to these criticisms in an open letter to fans on September 16, 2009.[15]


In November 2009, local TV station WTHR revealed health code violations at the stadium's restaurants including mouse droppings and live mice, contaminated food, food at improper temperatures, and repeated usage of disposable containers.[16] The Colts and Centerplate, stadium restaurant operator, issued statements saying they were responding quickly to resolve the problems and ensure a safe, clean and enjoyable environment for stadium visitors.[17]

Construction picturesEdit


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named uni
  2. "hhgregg Signs On As Lucas Oil Stadium Founding Sponsor". Sports Business Daily ( 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  3. "Drum Corps International moving headquarters, bringing World Championships to Indianapolis" (Press release). Drum Corps International. 9 August 2006.
  4. "2008 Drum Corps International World Championships relocated to Indiana University" (Press release). DCI. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  5. "Lucas Oil Stadium Preparing For Grand Opening Events" (Press release). Inside Indiana Business. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  6. Mary Milz (31 March 2008). "Colts season opener puts new stadium in national spotlight". WTHR ( Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  7. AP (3 December 2011). "Montee Ball's four touchdowns spark Wisconsin to Big Ten title". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  8. "2011 Grand National Championships Review" (Press release). Music For All. 12 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  9. Eric Bradner. "Bands take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for annual competition". Evansville Courier and Press ( Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  10. "Chesney concert will be first at Lucas Oil Stadium". WTHR ( 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named facts
  12. Karen Eschbacher (27 August 2006). "Operating in the red zone: Stadium plan faces shortfall on day-to-day costs". Indianapolis Star (Pacer Digest). Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  13. "CIB President: Stadium Could Close If Deal Isn't Reached". WRTV. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  14. Scott Olson (15 September 2009). "More layoffs, furloughs possible for cash-strapped Indianapolis CIB". Indianapolis Business Journal (Indiana Economic Digest). Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  15. "Colts letter to fans on Lucas Oil Stadium". WTHR ( 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  16. "Flagging the food-Part I". WTHR ( 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  17. "Flagging the Food". WTHR. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-10.

External linksEdit

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Events and tenants
Preceded by

RCA Dome
Home of the
Indianapolis Colts

2008 – present
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Cowboys Stadium
Host of
Super Bowl XLVI

Succeeded by

Louisiana Superdome
Preceded by

Ford Field
Cowboys Stadium
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by

Reliant Stadium
Reliant Stadium
Preceded by

St. Pete Times Forum
NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by

Preceded by

First stadium
Big Ten
Football Championship Game

Succeeded by

Preceded by

RCA Dome
Home of
Bands of America
Grand National Championship

2008 – present
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Memorial Stadium, Bloomington
Home of the
Drum Corps International
World Championship

2009 – 2013
2015 – 2018
Succeeded by

Preceded by

RCA Dome
Home of the
NFL Scouting Combine

2009 – present
Succeeded by

Preceded by

Heinz Field
Host of
AFC Championship Game

Succeeded by

Heinz Field

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