Last Friday when we were in Indianapolis, my older brother invited my son and me on a field trip. My brother was driving a bus load of 3rd and 4th graders to the Lucas Oil Stadium which is home to the Indianapolis Colts.
I was amazed that the stadium was completely enclosed in a box of 980,000 bricks. It was like walking into a huge bank building and discovering they kicked all the executive offices out and put in a football field. The construction did not at all strike me as a stadium. Our tour guide said that the 1.8 million sq. ft. building was large enough to house Mt. Rushmore. Besides the almost 1 million bricks, it took 16,000 tons of steel to construct.
There were more than 1100 TV sets in the building. Even the bathrooms contain TVs so you don’t miss any of the game.
We saw some of the 100 concession stands where they, on average, sell 5,800 hot dogs per game. We also got to visit the press booth and the Quarterback Suite. They serve food at both. In the QB Suite you have to pay $275 per seat during a game, but it includes all you can eat food and soft drinks. That is still an expensive meal. The guide said that sometimes press people will show up and depending on what the menu is for the game decide to either stay or go home and watch the game on TV.
On the lowest of 7 levels is the field and locker rooms. The hallways are large enough they can drive tractor trailer rigs through them for food and team equipment delivery. We were able to go into the visitor’s locker room, but not the Colts’.
The field is also on that lowest level. The artificial turf is unique at Lucas Oil Stadium in that they don’t roll the turf up to host other events like at other stadiums. The turf in permanant and they use 9,000 terra covers (rubber looking tiles) to build the alternate surfaces on top.
Lucas Oil has their name on the stadium by funding a portion of the construction. Something to the tune of $120,000,000. It will take Mr. Lucas 20 years to pay that off. That is a serious chunk of change.
There are many other stats that I wrote down as we took the tour, but I can’t imagine anyone but me being interested in them. You know, boring things like 75,000 miles of cabling. That is enough to go around the earth 3 times. Also that the 2 roof panels each measure 160′ by 600′. That is about the size of 2 football fields end to end for each panel. And facts like, each of the score boards is 97′ by 37′. That is 9 stories wide by 3.5 stories tall. Believe it or not, the scoreboards do not look that large since they are in a building that is 30 stories tall. You know, boring facts like that.
The only downside was the trip to and from the stadium. No, it had little to do with my brother’s driving abilities. All I can say is that it takes a special kind of person to be a teacher to screaming 3rd and 4th grade kids.
Interestingly, there were quite a few adults on this field trip. They have never had so much parental participation on a trip before. Men went on a 3rd/4th grade field trip. They either really love their kids, or it had something to do with the destination.