Lucas: Stadium worth the cost

October 15, 2008
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forrestThere have been a fair number of complaints about the new home of the Indianapolis Colts since its opening in August, from the temperature inside the stadium to traffic flow in concourses and long lines at concession stands. But if you ask Forrest Lucas, whose company bought the naming rights to the $720 million facility, the stadium is all good—almost.

Lucas took a break from driving cattle at his Missouri ranch yesterday to share his thoughts with the IBJ about the new stadium. In addition to the naming rights, Lucas Oil Products sponsors the north gate, where Lucas himself oversaw decorating the plaza with company memorabilia and interactive features.

“I’ve heard almost nothing but positives about the new stadium,” Lucas said. “It’s just so much nicer in the new stadium. It’s been very good for our company on a number of levels.”

The new stadium is much better for corporate entertaining than the RCA Dome, Lucas said, with larger suites and more amenities. He said the areas around the suites were much more conducive for networking and entertaining. He also thinks there is plenty for fans in the stands to be pleased about, with better sight lines and other amenities throughout the stadium.

“There has been a lot put into the atmosphere,” Lucas said. “I was there for the first three Colts games, and it’s just awesome. It’s a beautiful place.”

The only downside so far is traffic flow, Lucas said, and he thinks that will be worked out. “They need to do more work in helping people find their way to their seats,” Lucas said.

The more people that visit the stadium, Lucas thinks the less complaining there will be. “I think if the taxpayers come to see it, they will say it’s money well spent,” Lucas said. “That facility is state-of-the-art, and it will be for a long, long time.”
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  • Some people will never be pleased... with anything.

    This is one of the nicest Sports Facilities in the nation. A landmark stadium and a huge boost to the image and function of Indianapolis.

    It has character inside and out and while no stadium is perfect, it is an amazing place for a game or event.

    The Complaints you named:

    Temperature: It was a clear fall day with the Sun baking down. Enjoy it, throw a hat on and some shades. When you are freezing your walnuts off, you'll wish it was 80 and sunny.

    Concourse Flow: When you cram 65,000 people into a couple levels, you are going to get a few backups. No big deal and I haven't really had a problem at all. Many of those lame complaints likely came from the Open House not a game. That is an obvious different situation. Been to every game and Open House and never once thought traffic flow was really any concern.

    Long Lines At Concession Stand: How soon we forget. Have you been to the RCA Dome. Lines we so long, they would extend out well into the walking lanes. There were about 1/3rd less concessions and half the options at the RCA Dome. Do the math. Concessions everywhere at The Luke. Again, been to every game, I enjoy beer and a few snacks and make the trip frequently... never had more than a 3 person wait.

    People really need to reconsider what it is they complain about. We just had relatives in town for the game. Nothing but rave reviews. Several analysts have called this one of, if not, the best venues in Sports. Appreciate it, we are lucky to call this place home field.
  • If you ever were in the upper deck you would know that LOS is 5 billion times better than that Dome thing.

    1 No climbing 4 flights of stairs
    2 Concessions that actually allow you to arrive and leave during halftime
    3 Room to walk around
    4 leaving via 4 escalators may be slow, but at least your not trampled in the staircase.
    5 SEATS real honest to good SEATS no more can you please move down
    6 Environment much much nicer.
    7 View through the window --- WOW
    8 Video screens you can actually see
    9 Additional info on seperate video screens such as other scores and sats
    10 The roof can be opened --- REALLY COOL

    Now that I think of it, it's more like 10 billion times nicer.
  • Forrest was actually out driving cattle. Now that's cool! We need more CEOs like him.
  • Driving cattle or caddies? Just kidding.....the stadium is very awesome. I was there on Sunday, and it was the highlight of my year so far. (other than my family) I cannot complain about anything in the stadium. Forrest should be proud.
  • As a Hoosier we should be happy with the stadium. The concerts, sporting events, and even great conventions to town all make it worth the MONEY. But we should question are self first: If this stadium is the best why is not rated the best with many NFL teams such as Dallas, NY, and possibly San Diego building new stadiums soon. Check out the stats for yourself http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/specials/fansurvey/2008/index.html?bcnn=yes
    The ticket prices are high and the atomosphere is LUCAS OIL thats not what a NFL stadium should be about, maybe all the legends from the COLTS past should be the theme not a company. History never gets old but a company??? Just look at the stats produce by SI a very repable sports journalism. I am telling you don't be upset but there are many things that could be done ALOT better!!!! Remeber u can't afford to build one next year. The community must make the area around LUCAS OIL the bright spot to make this stadium #1.
    GO COLTS!!!!!
  • I love the pride in the stadium from the posters above me.

    No matter if you hated the taxes that helped build it or not - it's here to stay.

    I'm coming to the Cincy game and cannot wait to see the stadium and the Colts. (I guess I'm one of those people who will contribute to the economy because of LOS. I'd never make the trip if we were still playing the inf RCA Dome.)
  • It's a great stadium, I agree. But did we really expect for Forrest Lucas to say otherwise?
  • Joe, you don't know Forrest very well do you. This is a man who speaks his mind, no matter what.
  • Matt,
    I think it is safe to say that I don't know Mr. Lucas at all.
    J.

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  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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