INDIANAPOLIS — Lucas Oil Stadium is getting a prominent interior makeover.
The Indianapolis Colts’ home dome will have its turf replaced starting in March 2024, per Monica Brase, a public information and marketing manager for Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center.
The project is estimated to cost $1.2 million and be completed by July 2024. The old turf will be removed in March because Lucas Oil Stadium is slated to host the USA Swimming’s Olympic team trials from June 15-23.
Hosting the Olympic trials will require significant work and delay the turf replacement. In a June 15 story, IndyStar reported temporary pools will be built and filled with more than 800,000 gallons of water in May for the event. USA Swimming and the Indiana Sports Corp will split the cost of pool construction and teardown.
When pool teardown is complete, Hellas Matrix Turf, will be manufactured and installed by Hellas Construction — a Texas-based company. The Capital Improvement Board — the public entity that oversees Lucas Oil Stadium — was one of five companies bidding on the turf replacement project, according to the Indiana Business Journal.
“The timing of the replacement will be ideal because the turf we have now will be reaching the end of its life, and we are getting ready to do some extreme things on the field for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming,” Lucas Oil Stadium Director Eric Neuberger wrote in an email to media outlets. “As we prepared to go out to bid for the new turf, we worked closely with the Colts and are pleased that Hellas Construction will be able to provide us with a turf that provides the best playing surface for football and looks great.”
The new turf being installed at Lucas Oil Stadium has been put in at So-Fi Stadium, AT&T Stadium and NRG Stadium — the homes of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texas, respectively. The Indiana Business Journal also reported that Lucas Oil Stadium’s current turf is slit-film synthetic and the new Matrix turf will be a monofilament-type surface.
The move comes less than a year after the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) called for all the league’s teams to replace and ban slit-film turf. The NFLPA and its president, JC Tretter, have previously made note the safety concerns associated with slit-film turf versus monofilament or dual fiber surfaces.
As of Jan. 6, 2023, Lucas Oil Stadium was one of six NFL venues utilizing slit-film turf. Ford Field in Detroit, MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the Superdome in New Orleans, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati were also surfaced with slit-film turf.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Lions replaced their slit-film turf with a monofilament field. A similar change was made by the New York Jets and Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints all plan to or have already replaced their turf setups. It is unclear if they have put in or plan to install new slit-film surfaces or modern monofilament turf.