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Covering the Colts
Posted by MSC on September 5, 2008 at 9:55 AM.

On September, 7 the Indianapolis Colts will play their first game at the brand-new Lucas Oil Stadium. Designed by architect HKS, Inc., the stadium seats 63,000 (and can be expanded to 70,000 when it hosts the Super Bowl in 2012). The playing field is 25 ft below street level, allowing fans unobstructed views from their easily accessed seats. 

 

At the Colts’ first game in its new home—against the Chicago Bears—fans will be sitting beneath an engineering milestone. The stadium’s steel roof, designed by structural engineer Walter P Moore, is the first ever to divide lengthwise into two retractable panels—each 160 ft long x 600 ft wide and 2.9 million lb each—with each half sliding down the steep, gabled roof of the stadium into the open position. A 960-hp cable drum drive system moves the retractable roof panels up and down the sloped track in 9 to 11 minutes depending on wind conditions. (Structural steel was fabricated by Hillsdale Fabricators.) 

 

The project also features a retractable end wall consisting of six glass panels that move to create an 85-ft-tall x 210-ft-wide opening. Each panel rides on a steel rail while the wall opens and closes, and is supported by two hardened steel wheels.


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