A different type of open house....
Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the 2012 Super Bowl, is Indiana's magnificent new billion dollar retractable roof venue which will house the NFL's Colts along with a massive new convention effort. I had a chance to wander through this monument to professional sports on Sunday the 17th of August and it's every bit as good as advertised. Above you see the view from outside the north end zone which stares into the massive six panel retractable 'window' and the open roof. I stood in that window which sits stories above ground level and below is the view that fans will have while watching Peyton Manning and company in the coming years:
From Conseco Fieldhouse on the far right to the soon to be demolished RCA Dome on the left, architects have done a wonderful job of utilizing Indy's skyline as a backdrop to football and thousands of other events that will take place in 'The Luke' as it's now being called locally. This view is from southwest to north east across the city. The north end and roof retract while the south end, while also a large window holds addional seating and is a giant fixed pane of glass.
With over 1100 flat screen televisions across the veunue located everwhere from concessions areas to suites to the 70 inch monsters that greet you from inside the grill of the giant Colt's helmet, no matter where you are inside, you don't miss much. Inside the field area, the two massive 90 x 45 foot screens seen below in the corner, project a stunning hi definition view. While it didn't photograph well, in this shot a public official was speaking and had a mole on his chin as big as an Escalade (Yikes).
The entire process will allow for a huge new convention center to be built on the site of the RCA Dome, once it's removed. The new convention center and staduim will attach to much of downtown Indianapolis by a series of enclosed walkways. Come the Super Bowl in 2012, visitors will never have to go outside if they choose not to.
The staduim and convention center will produce thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenues and house conventions attended by hundreds of thousands. While arguments rage over public funding for professinal sports, this building was essentially created out of an eleven county restaurant tax and will add incalcuable good to the region for decades to come. Nice job Indiana. A legacy created that will add countless opportunities and community gain in the years ahead.