Hundreds of workers are participating in the construction of Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. Construction is rushing forward, with less than one year to go before the massive stadium is substantially completed in August 2008. The new stadium will be a seven-level, multi-use building with a retractable roof that will seat 63,000 for football and up to 70,000 for basketball, conventions, concerts, and other special events.
Lucas Oil Stadium, which will replace the RCA Dome as the home field of the Indianapolis Colts, will feature many upscale amenities, including 142 corporate suites; wider seats with more legroom than the seats at RCA Dome; seats with backs throughout; 1,200 toilet fixtures spread around all seven levels; 58 permanent concession stands; 14 escalators; 11 passenger elevators; 30-foot-wide public concourses; four primary plazas with entrances at each; and two pedestrian ramps. Special features include detailed arch entries, brickwork, exterior precast concrete and limestone, as well as structural steel super columns and special steel for the roof.
Numerous construction operations — structural, exterior enclosure, interior work (including installation of ornamental railings and installation of seats), and site work (underground utilities, asphalt paving and retaining walls) — are proceeding. "We are approximately 60-percent complete," says Scott Blanchard, a contract manager for Hunt Construction Group. Hunt is the construction manager for this monumental project and is assisted by Smoot Construction, LLC and Mezzetta Construction Inc. HKS Inc., Dallas, is the lead architect.
Blanchard notes that there are currently 1,000 workers participating in the project. "That's the first time we've gotten into four digits out here," he says. "So, it is encouraging that we can find those people. We anticipate that we will have a workforce of 1,200 in the spring."
Blanchard and Bob May, a Hunt Construction Group contract manager, led a recent tour of the project. Crews were preparing to erect center transverse trusses; beginning work on the west lower bowl precast; performing excavation where a connector will link the stadium to the Indiana Convention Center, which will be expanded onto the site of the RCA Dome; and beginning pre-assembly and erection of west retractable roof panels.
As of mid-September, crews had placed 116,900 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete, out of 130,000 cubic yards; poured 1.05 million square yards of decks, out of 1.1 million square feet; poured 386,000 square feet of slab-on-grade, out of 600,000 square feet; set 2,920 pieces of structural precast, out of 3,700 pieces; set 930 pieces of architectural precast, out of 1,400 pieces; and installed 6,643 pieces of exterior glass, out of 9,100 pieces.