SBD/January 25, 2012/Facilities

NFL To Increase Lucas Oil Stadium's Capacity By 5,000 For Super Bowl

Extra capacity will mostly come from standing-room tickets sold for each suite
The NFL has “decided to make room for 5,000 extra ticketholders for the Super Bowl in Lucas Oil Stadium,” according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. NFL officials on Monday said that they “plan to expand the stadium capacity to 68,000 during the Feb. 5 event in Indianapolis.” Capacity for Colts games “is typically 63,000.” The decision was made after the league “evaluated how much room it would need for media auxiliary seating and for NBC’s production facilities within the venue.” When Indianapolis made its bid for the Super Bowl in '08, local officials said that they “could expand Lucas Oil Stadium capacity to 70,000.” But in recent weeks, the Super Bowl Host Committee said that it was “only going to expand capacity by 254 tickets.” Most of the extra capacity “will come from additional standing-room tickets sold for each suite and by filling platforms that are not normally used during Colts games with padded chairs.” NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said that “all the temporary seats have been inspected and approved by the city’s Department of Code Enforcement.” He added that “no bleachers or temporary structures will be built to accommodate the additional capacity” (, 1/24). The AP’s Michael Marot noted after "hundreds of ticketed fans were left without seats" during last year's Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium, the league “took a more cautious approach and in March settled on the rough number of 68,000” for this year's game. McCarthy: "It played a role." The actual capacity is “still to be decided,” and it “won't be announced until late next week.” McCarthy said that the timing of that announcement “is customary” (AP, 1/24). 

SUPPLY & DEMAND: In Indianapolis, Zak Keefer wrote this year’s Super Bowl venue is “among the five smallest ever, sandwiched amidst XXXVII in San Diego (67,603) and XL in Detroit (68,206).” The smallest Super Bowl ever was “the very first one at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where 61,946 watched” the Packers defeat the Chiefs (, 1/24). YAHOO SPORTS’ Maggie Hendricks wrote fans interested in buying tickets to the game should “expect to spend at least $2,500 per ticket.” StubHub's tickets “start at $2,450 for individual seats.” Indianapolis-based broker Circle City Tickets had seats “starting at $2,760 in the highest reaches of the stadium.” SeatGeek reports that the average seat “is $3,470, making it the most expensive event they've ever tracked” (, 1/24).
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