Cost of a convertible?

January 22, 2009
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los2Lucas Oil Stadium’s retractable roof continues to be the center of much debate. How much use the convertible ceiling at LOS will get remains to be seen. But after a few phone calls this week, I did get a little more information on the cost of the retractable roof.

It’s difficult to say just how much the retractable roof cost, because the steel used in the roof also supports other parts of the building and includes things like stairs and catwalks near the ceiling, said Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority Director John Klipsch.

Klipsch said trying to figure out the exact cost of the roof is like trying to figure out how much of the money you spend on a pair of shoes goes toward supporting the weight of your shoulder. Good one. Point taken. But there are some interesting facts that shed a little light on the cost.

The steel that went into making the roof and supports the structure costs $83.2 million. The parts and labor for the moving components of the roof and retractable window on the stadium’s north end cost $15.6 million. The annual maintenance budget (labor and parts) for the roof is $270,000, with another $30,000 allocated for the window. So routine maintenance for the roof and window for the next decade will be at least $3 million. Minnesota-based Uni-Systems Inc. has the maintenance contract for the retractable roof and window.

By the time the project was put in the hands state officials, the city’s Capital Improvements Board and Indianapolis Colts already determined that a retractable roof for the stadium was a must. “We never did a study on what the costs of a retractable roof would be compared to a standard roof,” Klipsch said. “If that was ever discussed, it was done before we got involved.”
  • Does the maintenance budget include the big red letters on the side? The south side has said Lucas Oi for awhile. Perhaps they need to use CFL lightbulbs.
  • i would say the airbuble in my shoe costs somewhere around $5. so i will give my sholders $1 of that. 20%. is probably what we paid extra to have that worthless roof. if we can calculate that, i would like to see how much it costs every time we open it. (5 times a year). stupid building.
  • If the roof was a must then didn't anyone think maybe they should put a drainage system in the field? I'm amazed they would spend millions for a retractable roof that can't actually be used unless it's sunny and 72 degrees (and you know how much that happens during the NFL season).
  • Is there nothing else to blog on? The same subject twice in the same week with no new info? I look at this subject like buying a new car in March. You get the heated seats as an option. Then in September you decide to determine if it was worth it. It would make more sense to wait a year and see how much you used it. But of course so many people cannot get it through their head that this stadium and the retractable roof is not just for the Colts, nor even mainly for the Colts.

    Lets wait a year and find out how many times the roof is open for concerts, conventions, trade shows, other sporting events etc.... And in reality, a real accounting cannot be done until 2010 when the CC expansion is fuly opertional and we are using both facilities to the maximum. Trying to decide if it was worth it after a few months is asinine.
  • Indyman - I agree 100%. Too much second guessing for no purpose.
  • Actually, I've not seen the annual cost of maintenance reported until this post, nor have I seen the cost of the moving parts reported until now. And ANY time tax dollars are in play, I think the use of those dollars merits debate. That's part of democracy, and I think it's fairly healthy.
  • stooopid.
  • Wally, the point is the time for debating is about 3 years ago. Unless I am missing something, we cannot undo the roof. It is there. Now if we want to debate WAS it worth it, then you need to wait until at least one full year is under its belt. The interesting thing is there are more high school games played at LOS than Colts games. There are more conventions and trade shows than Colts games. But everyone has to keep going back and calling it the Colts Stadium.
  • Probably the reason everyone keeps referring to it as the Colts Stadium is the reality is the stadium would NOT have been built if not for the Colts. Yes the convention center would have still needed to be renovated but without a professional NFL team Lucas Oil Stadium would not have been built - not going to build that grand a stadium for HS games even state championships. The stadium will be used for other things - so you made your point.
  • Indyman says:
    The interesting thing is there are more high school games played at LOS than Colts games. There are more conventions and trade shows than Colts games. But everyone has to keep going back and calling it the Colts Stadium.

    It's obvious - because the high schools and trade shows pay to use the LOS and do not receive revenue from the Colts use. However, the Colts receive revenue from ALL events at LOS.

    And the Colts insisted on the retractable roof at a cost of $15.6 million capital and $300k per year. Who pays that cost? not the Colts.
  • Hazel,

    A stadium would still have been built with or without the Colts. As large? Maybe not, but the reason Indy is such a prime location for Conventions and trade shows is because it is one of the only CC's with a major stadium attached. We still would have needed a large open floor for events like the 40,000+ church conventions, a display floor for events like the FDIC, a 40,000+ seating capacity for the NCAA tourneys etc.... Without the flexibility of an attached stadium, the $3 billion+ in convention spending would be considerably less, and I doubt that the expansion would have been necessary.


    Oh yes, back to the old tired arguments. Ok, lets set you straight, The Colts pay to use the stadium as well. I beleive the number is $120,000 for 10 games. Not sure what others pay. As far as the Colts receiving a percentage of revenue, with a contribution to the stadium of 100 million, I would expect they deserve some return on that investment.

    All users of the stadium pay for the retractable roof as does the average taxpayer at a couple of cents a Big Mac. So since the Colts pay to use the stadium, and they draw 100,000's of fans downtown during the season, who spend millions on food and drink, they pay a pretty good percent as well.

    so all that said, it is much more than a stadium for the Colts.
  • $120k for 10 games!

    The IHSAA paid $250k for 2 days and they expressed concern that they may not be able to afford that in future years.

    Also, the $100 million was money the Colts were going to earn from Dome revs. It is more than offset by Colts rev from LOS.

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