Constructed in conjunction with theexpansion, the Hoosier Dome was an important component of the revitalization of downtown Indianapolis. By combining the convention center and stadium projects, city leaders were able to target two markets simultaneously: sports and tourism.
Funding for this joint venture came from a combination of private grants ($25 million fromand $5 million from ) as well as a $47 million municipal bond, which was repaid through a controversial 1 percent food and beverage tax in Marion County. The owned and oversaw the management of both properties.
Groundbreaking for the Hoosier Dome occurred in May 1982. The air-supported dome roof was inflated the following year in August 1983. It weighed 514,505 pounds, had a height of 193 feet, and was made of Teflon-coated fiberglass on the outside and canvas on the inside. Other important features of the building included an AstroTurf field and seating for 61,000.
In May 1984, the stadium opened, two months after the Baltimore Colts relocated to Indianapolis. The NFL team’s owner,, cited the construction of the dome as one of the reasons for the team’s move to the city.
The first game for theinside the Hoosier Dome occurred on August 11, 1984. During this preseason contest, a sellout crowd watched the team defeat the New York Giants 26-20.
In addition to Colts’ games, the Hoosier Dome played host to numerous events, including the annual. Several other sports competitions were held at the stadium for major organizations, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) & Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) (see ), National Basketball Association (NBA), , and the . The dome also served as a venue for local commencement exercises, national conventions, and concerts by famous musicians.
In 1994, the naming rights to the Hoosier Dome were purchased by RCA Corporation. The stadium was then referred to as the RCA Dome until its closure in August 2008 upon the opening of, the new home of the Indianapolis Colts. The following month, the RCA Dome’s roof was deflated. The rest of the building was imploded three months later, on December 20, 2008. The empty space from the stadium was used for another Indiana Convention Center expansion, which was completed in 2011.
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