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.


Sean Shepard said...

While I think the retractable roof is neat, it's the sort of thing that should have been paid for with private dollars not public taxpayer money.

When we give welfare or unemployment benefits it is frequently done as a "what minimum you need to get by" gesture. Why then, when it comes to corporate welfare would we not do the same? (arguments about the justness of either notwithstanding)

That $75 million for the roof doesn't include all kinds of other costs or even interest on the $75 million.

How long does it take to open and close? Can they not get it closed in time if weather conditions start to change? Just curious.

Downtown Indy said...

And we have 3 days of pre-game 'Will the roof be opened or closed?' drama played out every time.

To the best of my knowledge, it was not open during the FDIC conference either.

You may recall one of the justifications for the retractable roof was to accommodate FDIC so they could extend the tall snorkel/ladder trucks from inside to demonstrate their capability, although that's a highly improbable firefighting strategy.

Covenant60 said...

Just wait till Manning stops playing.

Southsider said...

It will be spinned by someone that 'we saved money today on electical power by keeping it closed'. wink wink

DazedAndConfusedInIndy said...

I believe according to NFL rules if you start with theroof open it must stay open the entire game.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Irsay is already planning to pay Manning an additional $10 million a year on top of his current contract amount so he is the highest paid player in the NFL. I figure he has maybe 2 good seasons left before injuries and age take their toll on him.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I'm not worried about Manning getting hurt. We have Painer to back him up. That was sarcasm.

Marycatherine Barton said...

I hope it works if ever the city needs a place to house all its homeless people, or if FEMA
utilizes it. lol