Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lucas Oil Stadium

Beginning with this upcoming season, the Big Ten Conference will stage their own championship game in Indianapolis. It will be their first and it is a result of the added 12th team with Nebraska. During the recent Big Ten Video Meetings, the coordinators were allowed to take a tour of Indy's newest facility that also hosts the NFL's Colts.
 There are many unknowns for the conference as they get into the championship game business. Indianapolis has been a great host for the Big Ten as the city has hosted the conference's basketball tournaments for both the men and women. And not only has Indianapolis been the host for its conference tournaments, but it has also had the opportunity to host the NCAA basketball championships.

While the conference is still working on many of the details, one of the teams will use the host Colts locker room. It is among the nicest in the NFL, and is only used for the season home games by the team. The other locker room is just as nice, but not as flashy giving teams more than ample space to dress and meet. The Colts locker room has a separate team meeting room adjacent to its locker room, an addition not found in many current stadiums. (And no, we did not find out which locker belonged to Peyton, Dallas or Angerer).

Space is not an issue in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is the home team's training room, and is the size of many day to day training facilities. The advantage of utilizing the Colts game day facility is the proximity to the playing field. Built in mind with a 12 minute half time, it was important to give the Colts as much time as possible during the break.
Set up for the NFL combine, this convention area located underneath the end zone bleachers is used as a staging area for concerts as well as meeting space adjacent to the Indy Convention Center. When Lucas Oil is transformed into an arena for concerts, this area houses the artist's tour bus providing quick access to the stage.
This is one of two booths where the Hawkeye Radio Network will broadcast the game from. This is the visiting radio booth, which sits adjacent to the visiting coaches booth and video platform. There is no level higher in Lucas Oil and it is on this level that also is the home to the print media.

Although there are no night games in the Big Ten after October 31st, the championship game may appear on the Fox Network in prime time. Also slated for Fox on Championship Saturday are the Conference USA and Pac 12 title games.

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