Lucas Oil Stadium is quickly taking shape in downtown Indianapolis. Approximately 700 workers are currently involved with the construction of the $675-million sports and entertainment facility. The new stadium, scheduled to open in 2008, will replace the RCA Dome as the home field of the Indianapolis Colts.
The stadium is being built immediately south of the RCA Dome, on a site bounded on the north by South Street, on the east by Capitol Avenue, on the south by McCarty Street, and on the west by Missouri Street. HKS Inc., Dallas, is the architect of record for the seven-level, multi-use building with a retractable roof and 63,000 permanent seats. The stadium's design features a brick exterior and peaked roof.
Groundbreaking for Lucas Oil Stadium took place in September 2005, and the structure is now more than a year in the making. Significant concrete and steel construction operations are taking place on the massive project, and a dozen large cranes, several all-terrain cranes and an assortment of other heavy machinery are being used to conduct the work.
Construction is "progressing nicely right now," says Scott Blanchard, contract manager for Hunt Construction Group. Hunt is leading the construction management team in association with Smoot Construction, LLC and Mezetta Construction Inc.
"The project has gone pretty much as planned," says Blanchard. "There is something that comes up every day, but we are happy with our progress."
As with most Midwest projects, contending with changing weather conditions has been a challenge for the project team. Rain has made the stadium site muddy, and winds have slowed some of the work done by cranes. "Hopefully, we will have a light winter," he says.
During a mid-December visit by Construction Digest, the project was approximately 35-percent complete: crews had set approximately 96,000 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete out of a total of 130,000 cubic yards on the project; poured 80,000 square feet of decks out of 1 million square feet; poured 126,000 square feet of slab-on-grade out of 600,000 square feet; set 930 pieces of structural precast out of 3,700 pieces; set 125 pieces of architectural precast out of 1,440 pieces; and installed 96,000 concrete blocks out of 1.1 million pieces.
The cast-in-place concrete superstructure work is continuing six days a week with a partial second shift. "The concrete superframe should be done by summer," says Blanchard. "Also, two-thirds of the precast seating should be in place by then."
Construction in other areas is also moving forward. "We are about three months into a 14- to 16-month schedule for the roof structure," he says. "So, we have another good year's worth of work left to get that structure up."