LUCAS OIL STADIUM
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #8
- Location: Indianapolis, IN
- Opened: 2008
- Capacity: 67,000
- Weather: n/a (indoors)
- Games attended: 5 (including Super Bowl XLVI)
- Last visited: 2021
It only takes me 2.5 hours to get to Indy from my place. So I try to get to this amazing facility for at least one game a year. After missing out for a few years, I made it back in 2021 and was reminded how nice a place it is.
Built to look like an old-school high school gym, Lucas Oil Stadium is a $720-million masterpiece requiring $620-million in public money. It lets in a ton of light even when the roof is closed thanks to a massive bank of windows that permits a view of the Indianapolis skyline. The Colts choose to keep it closed more than not, possibly because the fan noise bounces off the roof and down to the field, creating a stronger home field advantage.
There’s a statue of Peyton Manning guarding the front, though he looks more like Willem Dafoe under the helmet. Considering his stellar play was likely the reason why this place was built in the first place, you’d think he’d get a more flattering likeness.
You’ll find polite & friendly fans in the stands, and breaded fried pork tenderloin sandwiches in the concession area. While there’s some quality Midwestern tailgating, especially in the huge team lot south of the stadium, others choose to hit one of the 50 nearby places to eat or drink, most of which open early before a Sunday game. There’s also Touchdown Town just north of the stadium featuring live music, football drills, giveaways and food & drink specials. And (gasp) many just come in sober right after church to watch a football game.
The experience here is less expensive than it is in other markets. And the environment is more wholesome than in most other markets; it may be the easiest stadium to take youngsters and not worry about what they may see or overhear. It reflects well on the Hoosier State. And it’s a stunning building to boot.