Stamp of approval for unique stadium

Niki May Young
11 Aug 2008

HKS design innovation attracts big names in sport

On August 24, the Indianapolis Colts will take to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s first home game in its new 1.8 million sq ft, retractable roof stadium.

Chosen as the site of the 2012 NFL Super Bowl, the NCAA 2010 Men’s Final Four and the NCAA 2011 Women’s Final Four, the $720 million facility has already received a significant stamp of approval from the highest levels of championship sports.

Designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, the stadium features a brick exterior reminiscent of the traditional Indiana field houses and collegiate football stadiums of the early 20th century. The stadium was designed to enhance its urban, downtown Indianapolis location. While showcasing tradition, the stadium delivers modern technology and fan amenities that create a big win for fans, visitors and the community.

An important design feature is the retractable roof. Most retractable roofs are designed with overlapping panels extending from the stadium’s end zones but Lucas Oil Stadium’s unique retractable pitched-roof design will open along the longest sides of the building and come together at the top of the building’s highest point at 296 feet above the playing field. John Hutchings, HKS principal-in-charge of the Lucas Oil Stadium said, “We challenged ourselves to be efficient, so the roof could open the other way and create a distinctive profile that enhances its surroundings.”

The design for the stadium exterior harkens back to Indiana’s rich sports heritage. The exterior’s brick, stone and glass reflect the traditional forms of Indiana’s college stadiums and high school sports field houses. The pre-cast concrete structure is covered in reddish-brown brick that also mirrors the historic manufacturing buildings in downtown Indianapolis. With Indiana limestone surrounding its base, the exterior creates a striking effect. An operable glass window wall and outdoor terraces to view downtown Indianapolis and other scenery further enhance the openness of the stadium and its connection to the city.

Key Facts

Sport in architecture
United States

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