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The RCA Dome, originally named the Hoosier Dome, was a domed stadium located in Indianapolismarker, Indianamarker, and the home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL franchise for 24 seasons (1984-2007). It was completed at a cost of $28 million as part of the Indiana Convention Centermarker, with the costs split evenly between private and public money. The RCA Dome was demolished in December 2008 as part of a project to expand the attached convention center.

Description

The roof was made up of teflon-coated fiberglass and weighed 257 tons, which was held up by the air pressure inside the building. The ceiling was high, though the height varied up to five feet as the materials expanded and contracted with the weather. As was the case with other domes of this style (the Metrodomemarker, BC Placemarker, the Carrier Domemarker, and the Pontiac Silverdomemarker) there were warning signs posted cautioning patrons of the high winds at the doors when exiting.

History

Inside the RCA Dome
It was similar in design and appearance to the Metrodome and BC Place, owing in great part to the involvement of engineers David Geiger and Walter Bird, pioneers in air-supported roofs.

The stadium was originally named the Hoosier Dome until 1994 when RCA paid $10 million for the naming rights for 10 years, with two five-year options to RCA at a cost of $3.5 million if invoked. The stadium seated 57,900 for football. Modifications were made to the stadium in 2001 to expand the suites and add club seating. Before that, the maximum seating for a football crowd was 58,272. The dome was officially dedicated on September 8, 1984, as a sellout crowd watched Purdue defeat Notre Dame.

Basketball was also played at the RCA Dome. The first game played there was an exhibition game in 1984 between an NBA All-Star team led by home-state hero Larry Bird and the United Statesmarker Olympic Men's Basketball team, coached by Bob Knight, who was at the time the coach of Indiana Universitymarker. The dome also served as the site of the NBA All-Star Game in February 1985, where a record NBA crowd of 43,146 saw the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 140–129. Since then it hosted many NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship games, including four Final Fours (1991, 1997, 2000, 2006). The NCAA, whose headquarters are in Indianapolis, has committed to holding the Final Four in Indianapolis once every five years. The RCA Dome hosted its only Women's Final Four in 2005. The closing ceremony and the gymnastics and handball events of the 1987 Pan American Games were held in the Hoosier Dome.

In addition, it hosted 1990 General Conference Sessions of Seventh-day Adventists, the World Gymnastics Championships in 1991, WrestleMania VIII in 1992, the Indiana High School Athletic Association's annual boys and girls championships, and served as one of two sites for the FIBA Men's World Basketball Championship Tournament in 2002, sharing the honors with Conseco Fieldhousemarker, the home of the Indiana Pacers. Additionally, the RCA Dome served as the site of the Indiana State School Music Association State Marching Band Competition, the Bands of America Grand Nationals, and the Drum Corps International Midwestern Regional, along with the NFL Scouting Combine in February of each year. It also hosted a PBR Built Ford Tough Series bull riding event in 2004.

The football playing surface was originally AstroTurf; it was replaced with FieldTurf in May 2002.

The stadium was replaced by a new retractable-roof stadium, Lucas Oil Stadiummarker, in time for the 2008 NFL season. The RCA Dome will be replaced by additional space for the adjacent Indiana Convention Centermarker. The new convention space will eventually connect to Lucas Oil Stadium in much the same way that the existing Indiana Convention Center had been connected to the RCA Dome (although the new connecting walkway will pass under a railroad track).

Demolition

On September 24, 2008, the roof of the Dome was deflated. On December 20, 2008 at 9:36 am, after the removal of the roof, the RCA Dome was imploded at a cost of $3,500,000.

References

  1. Smithsonian January 1988
  2. NBA Encloypedia
  3. RCA Dome
  4. RCA Dome deflated to prepare Colts' old home to be demolished
  5. $3.5M winning bid for spring demolition of Dome | IndyStar.com



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