I recently highlighted the history of Bills Stadium. As well as all of the renovations that have taken place over the past four decades of the stadium’s existence. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to take a deep dive into the newer stadiums around the league. I’m going to explain the history, what makes them unique, and how they relate to a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. This week’s stadium review is the home of the Indianapolis Colts: Lucas Oil Stadium.
A Brief History of Lucas Oil Stadium
On September 20, 2005, construction officially began on the new stadium for the Colts. Lucas Oil Stadium was officially opened to the public on Saturday, August 16th, 2008, and the approximated cost of the stadium was $720 million. The stadium was financed by funds raised jointly by the State of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis as well as the Indianapolis Colts. In 2006, Lucas Oil Products secured the naming rights from the Indianapolis Colts and paid $122 million over 20 years.
What Makes it Unique
Lucas Oil Stadium seats approximately 67,000 for football. This can be expandable to over 70,000 for basketball and other major conventions and events, as the East and West sideline and North End Zone seating areas are retractable. The North End Zone seating are also removable creating a larger show floor for other events held at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The roof is the first of its kind with 2 retractable roof panels and can be opened in approximately 11 minutes. The stadium also has Operable Windows which consists of six panels that also takes approximately 11 minutes to open, similar to the roof.
There are 139 suites in Lucas Oil Stadium including 8 Field Suites. The Quarterback Suite is located on the Upper Suite level and accommodates 200 guests. Additionally, the stadium also built a new Press Box which has seating and dining available for up to 200 members of the media.
What the Bills Could Make of Lucas Oil Stadium
Continuing with the trend of retractable roofs and windows, Lucas Oil Stadium has these features as well. This stadium seems more feasible for the Bills, unlike the Raiders, Rams, and Chargers. The Colts play in a cold-weather city that is a smaller market. This stadium was also far cheaper to build (albeit it was built over a decade ago) than the stadiums seen in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Additionally, for the crowd who want a Super Bowl in Buffalo, this stadium did achieve this. In 2011 the Super Bowl was hosted in Indianapolis as well as the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Not only has the stadium improved the game-day experience for Colts games, but it also has brought some big events to Indianapolis.
Time will tell on what the Bills do with their stadium. We can a little from Lucas Oil Stadium and what made this stadium special. Next week I’ll be taking a deep look into the home of the Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium.