Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium officials talk COVID precautions ahead of season opener


Indianapolis Colts fans cheers as the team takes the field before an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts team is celebrating the return of NFL Football with its free kickoff concert event Friday ahead of the season opener this Sunday.

For the first time, the event will be at Monument Circle. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., and people can get their free tickets here.

Fans are excited to cheer on the team in person. Colts owner Jim Irsay says the game is sold out.

While there are no capacity restrictions for the first time in two years, representatives with the team still want people to know there are precautions in place to keep people safe.

“We’ve been working very hard to make sure we have a fun safe environment for everyone who comes and visits to see the Colts beat the Seahawks,” said Lucas Oil’s stadium director Eric Neuburger.

Neuburger says they’ve made improvements since the pre-season game to make sure they are ready.

“We’re adding additional concessions. We’re making sure that we have the building staffed for the crowd that we’re going to have. And we make sure that everyone is having a good time down at Touchdown Town and having all the activities that they look forward to on a normal Colts game,” Neuburger said.

All ticketing will be mobile to reduce person-to-person contact. And while masks aren’t required, they are recommended.

“It’s the right thing to do. I’ll be wearing a mask. Our team will be wearing a mask. What we really hope is everyone will do that. We will continue to enhance the cleaning of the building. We use all sorts of great devices that kill all the germs that are out there using the best practices by our public health officials,” said Nueburger.

Colts’ vice president of communication Steve Campbell says they’ve been in contact with the Marion County Health Department, and they’ll follow what they recommend.

“For the last 18 months, they’ve been working tirelessly trying to keep people in Indianapolis safe and healthy. And we are in close contact with them as the season begins just to make sure we’re doing everything we can,” Campbell said.

Tailgating and Touchdown Town are also back. Just like inside the stadium, masks are recommended, but not required.

“They’re going to be outside presumably, so there aren’t as many protocols, but again, we welcome people back to the stadium, just be safe, just be responsible and just be respectful,” said Campbell.

For those tailgaters not on stadium property, they are asked to check the rules for the lot they are on.

And a reminder that your bags must be clear to bring them in.

The decision on whether or not to open the roof is made game-by-game and depends on the weather. They can’t have it open if it’s raining or too hot.

The goal is to have it open if they can.

They will make the announcement on social media either late Saturday or early Sunday.

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