Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis

29 08 2008
  • 500 S. Capitol
  • Indianapolis, IN 46225
  • (317) 262-8600
  • Website
The new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

I got to admit, I was surprised when I got an e-mail asking if I was available to shoot a Colts vs. Bengals preseason game at the brand new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  I do a lot of college football, but I’ve never done professional football.  After thinking about it for three seconds, I realized football was football and I would not only get some NFL football to put on the resume, but I’d get to check out the new stadium.

Lucas Oil Stadium sits right across the street from the RCA Dome which is in the process of being demolished.  The new stadium is huge.  The footprint for the RCA Dome sits on seven acres.  The footprint for Lucas Oil sits on 13 acres.  Even from the outside, the stadium is impressive and a huge improvement.  The RCA Dome looks like a generic basketball arena.  Lucas Oil looks more like Conseco Fieldhouse.

The old home of the Colts, the RCA Dome

The old home of the Colts, the RCA Dome

Once inside, I was taken to the field for a pregame meeting with the crew.  We went right out on to the turf and just about everyone I was working said “Wow!” at the same time.  Standing on the field and looking up at the rafter is impressive.  I’ve never been to a football game indoors before.  The only games I have been to have been at Soldier Field in Chicago…both the old and the current “alien invasion” incarnation, so it was a weird feeling.  The seating area reminded me more of a basketball arena…just a little bigger.

There are two really unique features to Lucas Oil Stadium.  The roof and one of the end zone walls.  The roof is retractable over the playing surface and they did eventually open it up for the game.  The seating area is still covered in case of inclement weather.  Even with the roof open, it still felt like it was indoors.  They’re going for comfort, but still want the open-air feeling.  I just didn’t get that because 3/4 of the stadium was still covered.

The second feature is the move able glass wall.  I think both end zones have the feeling of Conseco (where the Pacers play).  The design of the glass on either end make it feel like that.  The north end zone has glass that actually opens up.  Again, this is done to give the stadium the feeling of being outside.  My camera position was the high end zone camera and I was right in front of this wall.  It is an interesting feature.  It kind of felt like a baseball stadium with the railing and being able to look out back onto downtown Indy.  A couple of the players we talked to said the roof and the wall give the stadium an interesting wind.  If you look at the banners hanging from the rafters, they all blow in different directions depending on how the wind is coming in from that open wall.

My view of the game from the camera well on the terrace level concourse

My view of the game from the camera well on the terrace level concourse

The food was…eh.  Nothing but overpriced stadium food.  There was nothing unique that I saw, but I stayed in the north half of the stadium.  Just a bunch of concession stands and beer carts.  I was in the Bud Lite Party Zone area, but again, there wasn’t anything that stood out when it comes to the food.  Our meal was catered in house and it didn’t look very appetizing.  I don’t even know what was in the trays, but none of it looked good, so I just grabbed a couple bottles of water and went back upstairs.  For a new stadium, food was a pretty big disappointment.

There were things that bothered me about the stadium that fans attending the game would never notice.  There are too few staff elevators and the camera platforms are pretty shoddy…something you expect at an older stadium.  The fan experience is great though.  The stadium has great sight lines for the field.  The sight lines of the jumbo trons I’m told are really bad though.  You’re either looking directly into the lights and you cant’ see it because of the glare or there is an overhang that gets in your way.  So far, that’s the only complaints I’ve heard.  The fans seem to love it.  If I was more of a football fan, I would definitely try to get tickets for a game.  Lucas Oil Stadium is a huge improvement over the RCA Dome.  It’s still not a Lambeau or old Soldier Field, but at least it’s not a sterile dome.

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4 responses

29 08 2008
rockymtranger

I’m insanely jealous. I was in Indy a few weeks ago, and if you could have seen the parking lot and all then, you never would have guessed that it would have been ready. Being a big Colts fan, I’d love to get down there for a game.

29 08 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

yeah, it was pretty cool. I’m not really a Colts fan..hell, I’m not really a football fan, but I was excited to see the new stadium. Too bad the game sucked.

28 10 2008
d christian

are there parking garages in Lucas Oil Stadium If not what is the most convenient place for people who have trouble walking great distances.

28 10 2008
Mid-Michigan Dining

There are a few lots around the Stadium. It’s also downtown so there are garages within walking distance. I parked at the Pan-Am center which is right across from the old RCA Dome and walked about a block to the Stadium.

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