RIP, RCA Dome

September 24, 2008
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RCA Dome Today is deflation day for the 24-year-old RCA Dome. Former Mayor Bill Hudnut is scheduled to begin letting the air out at 10:30 a.m. The stadium was built for $82 million and completed in 1984 to entice the Baltimore Colts to move to Indianapolis. It hosted the Colts, four Final Fours, the NBA All-Star Game and hundreds of other events during its short lifespan. The dome's 257-ton roof should take about 30 minutes to sink, with the rest of the demolition lasting several weeks. What are your RCA Dome memories? Will you miss it?
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  • My memories of the dome are nonexistent. Because I have never been inside it and never had any desire to. For the most part, I didn't care to buy a football game ticket to watch a game when I spent my money a little more wisely than that. The only thing I can say I will miss about the dome is the marshmallow top that played a great role in the skyline of downtown. Oh well, it's time to move on... Looking forward to what Indy will look like in 2090, because maybe by then a REALLY impressive building will come to life. (An innovative and architecturally impressive skyscraper if anything...)
  • Hard to follow such an elitist post. I unwisely bought a few football tickets over the years and had a great time. I will miss the dome, but I love Lucas Oil Stadium and look forward to seeing the new convention center expansion.
  • I remember when $82 million was a lot of money.
  • Dustin, why even post a comment if you have nothing worthwhile to say? I think it is better if you just stay in your own little world and keep your comments to yourself.
  • My dad was a welder and he made welded parts for the Dome when it was being built at the factory where he worked in Ft. Wayne. He was really proud of his work for the Dome and whenever it was on TV he'd mention how he'd helped build it. It always reminded me of my dad and I'm sad that it's going.
  • It was a Hoosier Dome: a simple, uncomplicated, straightforward stadium that did its job pretty well.

    It played a significant role in economic development...not because of the football team but because of the event capability that brought Final Fours, the fire equipment show, and numerous huge conferences and conventions that filled hotels and restaurants and Circle Center with patrons.
  • Dustin's also posting at 2 in the morning.
    A man searching for a life.
  • Dustin seems as though you came out of cryo freeze an icle and will go back as an icicle, but I guess not without blessing us with your high hatted snobbery first. Thanks for sharing.

    They finished building the dome while I was in high school. I went down there to welcome the Colts to Indianapolis from Baltimore during that year. I also went to Springsteen's Born in the USA concert in the dome. Fun time! I too will miss the dome but am looking forward to what our new stadium can offer the city, especially as a host to our first Super Bowl game.
  • hahaha...Bill your comment made me laugh!

    I was only ever in the Dome about twice. Once for a pre season Colts game that I had free tickets for and for the Metallica concert years and years ago. Neither event was particularly enjoyable to me and I don't really have any fond memories from inside it, but I will miss it's puffy top in our skyline. It seems a shame and an incredible waste that it only lasted 24 years. I feel badly for the people who worked on it, from design to construction. How do they feel about it? I'm sure they all envisioned it lasting much longer than it did.
  • Lots of memories. Best memory(s) would be during my 4 years of high school participating in the Indiana state marching band finals. Getting to be on the old school 'astroturf' was always exciting, no matter how poor the acoustics were.
  • I think Dustin is the guy from the new HHGregg commercial with Peyton, a camera guy, and the San Diego Chicken.

    Peyton says, Sports are shot on Sony Cameras so why not watch it on one.

    Dustin says, I don't really like Sports.

    The San Diego Chicken prepares to jump over the table to go try to rip him apart, but Peyton holds him back.

    ----------------------------------

    Ignore those that try to diminish the overwhelming impact the RCA Dome has had on Indy's legacy, both past and future.

    It put us on the national stage as a Pro city and launched our strong ties to the Sports industry and allowed us to be one of the national leaders in Sports Tourism.

    Without the RCA Dome:

    No Colts
    No Final Fours
    No NCAA HQ relocation
    No National Spotlight
    No 2012 Super Bowl
    No Lucas Oil Stadium
    No NFL Combine
    No Large-Venue Conventions
    Subtract a few downtown hotels
    Subtract a few hundred thousand annual visitors
    Subtract countless millions of dollars from the Downtown economy
    Boring Sundays
    No Circle City Classic/State Championship Venue/ Nat'lBand Comps
    A diminished sense of Local Pride
    No Super Bowl Championship Memories (And AFC Thriller from '07)
    ...

    The RCA Dome has helped transform Indy for everyone... even the non-sports fans... EVERYONE. It has paid for itself likely 5 times over and it is scary to think what Downtown Indy would have been without it.
  • I make enough money to own a $40,000 car but I've never been into cars so I'm perfectly content to drive a $13,000 car to get me around and save my money for things that I do enjoy. But that doesn't mean that when I pass someone in an expensive car that I think I'm wiser than them since they wasted their money. We all want, need and desire different things, and that's okay, it's simply part of the human condition.

    As for my RCA Dome memories, I didn't think that I would miss the dome since it's so plain-Jane, vanilla and ordinary with narrow concourses and no flair. But it turns out I am going to miss it's intimate feel and the noise that we could generate because of it's compact seating arrangement. How many false start penalties did we the fans cause? How many bad plays did the opposing teams have to run because they simply could not audible out of them? In the new mega-stadium even with the roof closed the other teams offense has no problem changing the play at the line of scrimmage no matter how loud we try to get because the noise dissipates in all of those thousands of extra cubic feet of space.

    By the way I've been to four games in my (L)ucas (O)il (S)tadium (S)eat and that's all that I've seen. Bad name karma.
  • well said CreamCrimson.
  • My favorite Dome memories

    * My first Colts game back in '87 or '88. All I remember is it was against the Redskins and they got their asses kicked, but I had a great time up in those bleacher seats.

    *ISSMA State Marching Band Finals, '95, '93, '92 and '91. NOTHING will make me forget the feeling marching out of the tunnel and onto the field for the first time as an 8th grader in 1991. It was mind blowingly awesome and for a rural Indiana, Tipton county kid was an amazing experience.

    *Various colts games the last few years, sadly NOT the AFC Championship Game win, though. :(
  • My sister, brother-in-law and I have gone to the last regular season game in the RCA Dome. We have been to many a games through the 23 years it has been in existence, but we know it is time to move on and hopefully put focus on winning in the new Stadium for once.
  • so what is it called now? Hoosier Bowl?
  • Dustin,
    Won't you likely be dead in 2090?
  • In many respects, Dustin's already dead.....to the obvious.

    Many thanks to all those involved in making the Dome possible and for all of the great events that have occurred as noted by CreamCrimson.
    It has made our city proud.
  • My lasting memory of the Dome is that it died before it was paid off.
  • If you ever want to visit the RCA Dome again, rest assured you can go to Vancouver, B.C., where they have the only other replica (essentiall) of our beloved Hooseir Dome.

    And, CreamCrimson, how can you think that if the dome isn't built that this City doesn't prosper? Maybe the dome would've been replaced by something that made Indy mor prosprous? That is a slippery slope on which you're treading.

    No point in arguing thought that it served its purpose -- I just wish too that something soo expensive and lavish at the time would've outlive 24 short years. That's $3.4 million a year, btw. Not including the extra tax that never disappeared.

    It died before many of us who say the roof raised. What makes you think the Luke won't meet the same fate?
  • I find it funny how most of you people in this particular blog are offended by what I said. I merely said what I wanted to say and it was the truth. I was pointing out my own facts as part of explaining what my memories would be of the dome.

    By the way, my posting at 2 in the morning shows no obvious indication that I have no life. Think about this... It might mean that I have a busy career that requires me to do tasks during my waking hours, so therefore, you probably have no life or even your life is nothing to brag about. I could be just as ignorant as you... You work in a factory, you are part of the 'bluecollar' driven economy Indiana relies on.

    Why should anyone have sad memories of the dome in the first place? The dome is still not paid for and the city's taxpayers are still paying for something that will no longer be there. To me, that's silly. Why should anyone pay money to see a game? Silly idea to think a team's win or loss personally affects the fans' feelings. If a team lost, get over it, life is not crashing down on ya. If a team won, will fans be treated like royalty the players do? Nah, because they are nobodies, the players are million dollar earners, so this is why I don't care about pro sports, it's a silly waste of money.

    Have a good day!
  • Was it a Dungeons and Dragons tournament that ended at 2am?
  • Ha ha! That was real fresh GBow. No it wasn't a Dungeons and Dragons tournament, it was when I relieved your mother of her services. Nice try.
  • You know, the best way to deal with a troll is to treat its posts like spam. You don't respond to those urgent emails from Nigerian diplomats, do you?
  • Perhaps someday one of the blue collar boys will be kind enough to dump a 55 gallon drum of whoop a** all over Dustin so we can be rid of him once and for all. We already knew we weren't worthy of his scorn.
  • Just to save trolls time lamenting the fact that Indy doesn't have any new skyscrapers planned, please consult the latest issue of IBJ and read the story on the M&I Plaza. This building downtown is only 30% occupied. I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess nobody is going to take on a massive development (and pay a premium for a tall, architecturally significant building) when our current stock of existing buildings is not fully utilized. It wouldn't make sense, just like complaining about it doesn't make sense. Don't be a financial moron, you are just wasting everyone's time.

    Back on topic... I never ventured into the RCA dome, but I always thought it was a brilliant structure. It was an elegant solution to a difficult design problem. Of course, it may have been approaching functional obsolescence. Most NFL team owners demand a stadium that offers a higher percentage of premium spaces like luxury boxes. No mayor wants to refuse their demands and risk losing the team, it's much better for their legacy to build a new stadium.
  • My best Dome memory will always be the '06 AFC Championship. Big game. Big come-back. Great finish. Early in the first quarter, the guy in the seat next to me (a Pats fan) turned and shouted 'It's like a rock concert in here.' I've been to a lot of events in the Dome, but none had the same electricity.
  • Oh how the world continues to go round and round... It's flattering to see that others are obviously irked by my statements. Entertainment at its best for the day.
  • Just think about the economic impact on the city of every single home game. A good amount of people go downtown before each game (or event) and get dinner, go to the mall, go to museums, etc. While you may argue we are still paying the bill on the stadium, the economic impact and multiple of people spending money downtown pays for itself.
  • boiler, then why is the city still in debt with the dome? Can you explain this?
  • Dustin, I'm not in the know, but I've read several places that the City rolled several projects into the Dome bonds to utilize the original food & beverage tax mechanism. I've seen projects such as Victory Field, the canal, and Circle Centre included, but as I said at first I've not seen the facts on paper, just what I've read around the internet.
  • Dustin the City is still not in debt with the dome. Quit believing what the Star tells you and do some research. Notice when they write about it, they say we owe on the dome bonds or we owe because it was refinanced several times? Here is the truth. The bonds were refinanced 4 times. Twice to take advantage of lower bond rates and twice to add other projects to the revenue stream. The bonds were used to help pay for the Conseco Garage, part of the canal, work on Pan Am Plaza and Victory Field. They utilized the dome bonds for these projects because it was a ready revenue stream and had low interest rates. So when the Star says we still owe on the dome bonds, that is correct. When you say we owe in the dome that is incorrect.
  • To those who lament the end of the dome as a waste, it was what it was. It was built on a shoe string budget which was cut further during construction. It was shoe horned into its location because one of the city fathers erred when he walked off the distance between the CC and the tracks. It was based on the Carrier Dome which while nice was not a major league stadium. The original plan for the dome was larger concourses, more bathrooms, room for Major League Baseball, two video screens, more leg room, regular seats in place of bleachers in the upper decks and more suites. But since it was conceived and started without a primary tennant and no guarantee of a NFL team, they cut costs as much as possible. That is one of the main reasons the dome is now obsolete. I think that is also the reason Lucas Oil will last longer since it was built with cutting edge technology and lots of room. But who knows how different the demands will be on stadiums in 25 years. Who would have guessed in 1982 that NCAA Final Fours would require a minimum 40,000 seat stadiums. I think we will regret not building Lucas Oil to be expandable. It would have cost more, but I think we will be sorry about that in the future.
  • Indyman, I thought your post so far in this discussion was by far the most interesting. Sure I wasn't as informative and convincing, I was just opinionated which obviously set some people off on fire. Just thought I'd let you know, that I liked reading your post.

    I think it made more sense in the very beginning to build a newer stadium because I had already known that RCA Dome was swelling at the seams. I also know that enlarging the convention center is another good move which will in turn create more expos and the like.
  • Dustin,

    Great post, that's what we like to see. Next time, leave the junk in your trunk.
  • Dustin, Go jump in a lake.
  • Circecity18, I wonder if you felt good after leaving the last comment. Did you? But I'll jump in the lake only if you go first.
  • I'd have to say that my best memory of the RCA domes were the two particuar ocassions in which I participated in the ISSMA state marching band competitions. Not only is it a coveted accomplishment for marching bands statewide, but the entire experience (astroturf, the view, the airlocks, ect) was quite overwhelming.
  • Why was it overwhelming MattH? Do you mean etc?
  • I have been in the dome for several games despite not being a major football fan, but it was still impressive. I found it to be strangely homey and once I left, I had a odd feeling to go back. On the outside, well, it was somewhat uninspireing and dull, but it fulfilled its purpose admirably. Now that it is deflated, and soon to be obliterated, its like a good friend has moved far away and you know you will never see them again.
  • Miss it? We're still paying for it!

    I'd been to several games and events over the years. It was hardly a homey place, so getting warm and gushy about the dome is hard to do. Over the years though, as I visited from out of town, it improved -- not the structure so much, as the vibe; less a result of the building, more about the crowd -- they actually evolved into true-blue football fans. The place was still sterile, but definitely more fun!

    What WAS good? I loved the main entrance on the NE side. The stairways, and the oh-so easy access to downtown and St. John's, literally at your feet. Actually, that entrance was the only architectural highlight -- it also tied into the city.

    Worst of it? The public areas were too small and claustrophobic. A full house meant packed walkways, stairs, restroom and concession lines--pretty miserable.

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