Sunday, August 15, 2010
$75 Million Retractable Roof On Lucas Oil Stadium Closed Again For Opening Pre-Season Game
Jim Irsay demanded and got a retractable roof for Lucas Oil Stadium, an amenity that cost taxpayers an extra $75 million. Originally, he wanted an open air stadium so fans could experience true football played in all kinds of weather, good and bad. Then he decided it had to be enclosed with the retractable roof so the City could someday host a Super Bowl in it. In the end, he got exactly what he wanted and the taxpayers picked up all the costs, and he pays nothing and gets 100% of the revenues the stadium generates. Of the 22 games played in the LOS to date, the roof has been opened for just 12 of the games. It's either too hot or too cold, or there's a 10% chance of rain. Despite spending an extra $75 million for the retractable roof, the stadium was constructed without any means of draining water, which means it has to be closed if there is any minimal chance of precipitation during the game. The drainage system would have cost less than $1 million, or a fraction of the stadium's total price tag of more than $700 million. Whatever, there is always an excuse to keep the roof closed so that taxpayers can foot the bill to either cool or heat the stadium for comfort. And so it was today. "At 11:30, the temperature was 84 degrees, the humidity 77 percent and the heat index 94 degrees," the Star reports. "There also is a chance of thunderstorms later in the day." Yeah, yeah, yeah.