SBD/Issue 204/Facilities & Venues

Lucas Oil Stadium Busier Than RCA Dome Was In First Full Year

Lucas Oil Stadium Has Been Booked For 155
Of Its First 320 Days In Operation
Lucas Oil Stadium is "already busier than the RCA Dome was in its first full year of activities," as the facility has been "booked with monster truck jams, big and small conventions, and the occasional office party for 155 of its first 320 days in operation," according to Dan McFeely of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Univ. of Michigan sports management professor Mark Rosentraub: "In this economy, to be honest, I think Lucas is doing an amazing job." But McFeely notes when depreciation on the building itself is included, Lucas Oil Stadium lost $12.7M in the first five months of this year. As city officials "ponder their next move to address the fiscal bleeding," Lucas Oil Stadium officials "have their work cut out for them." Rosentraub "fears the nation's economy won't turn things around for the convention business [in Indianapolis] or anywhere else until after 2012." It may take that "long before the stadium sees usage hit an ideal rate of about 200 days a year." Indiana Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) President & CEO Don Welsh: "Where we have seen a drop is in the number of attendees, but we are faring this down economy better than a lot of cities. A lot have seen a [20-30%] drop in attendees, and we are seeing just [8-10%] fewer." Meanwhile, CIB documents indicated that event planners "could book the RCA Dome for a base rent of 13 cents per square foot for conventions or 16 cents per square foot for nonconvention meetings." The same events at Lucas Oil Stadium "now cost 24 cents per square foot" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/13).

MAIN ATTRACTION: In Dallas, David Flick notes based on the large number of fans who turned out yesterday to tour the new Cowboys Stadium for $15 per ticket, the new venue has been "added to the area's list of top attractions." Fan Mario Garcia: "It's crazy, the amount of people who are here. And they haven't even played a game yet." Cowboys VP/Marketing Bill Priakos said the large number of visitors "certainly exceeded our expectations." Priakos: "There are a lot of people just out to see the stadium. A lot of them aren't Cowboys fans, but they're there because they've heard of the structure." Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck last week cited the stadium tours as "one reason for better-than-expected tax revenues" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/13).

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