Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BSU at Lucas Oil Stadium

Ball State's football team, under the direction of first-year head coach Pete Lembo, will open its 2011 season Sept. 3 vs. Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts.

"Our players and coaches are very excited to be a part of the first Football Bowl Subdivision game to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium," Lembo says. "This is a great opportunity for Ball State to be showcased on the big stage against another FBS program from the state of Indiana."

The game will be the opener for both teams. Admission prices and game time will be set at a later date. All Ball State students with a valid university identification card will be admitted free of charge.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for our student-athletes, fans, alumni, students and supporters of Ball State football," Ball State athletics director Tom Collins says. "Our students will be admitted free, while we will accommodate our season ticket holders in an outstanding fashion. Playing at Lucas Oil gives us the chance to showcase our football team, while giving our fans a chance to see us play in an outstanding NFL venue."

Known best as the home of the Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium also is a major site for conventions, exhibitions, trade shows and NCAA basketball competition. The unique retractable roof makes it exceptionally flexible for both indoor and outdoor events. The roof can be opened or closed in approximately nine minutes. Lucas Oil Stadium is a seven-level facility that seats 63,000 for football up to 70,000 for basketball, conventions and concerts. It covers 1.8 million square feet, features 137 corporate suites, two club lounges, meeting rooms, and two exhibit halls.

"Ball State is a great university with an outstanding athletics tradition," Ed Shipley, president and chief executive officer of the Ball State Alumni Association says. "We are excited about the opportunity to play this game in such a tremendous facility and in a city where we have a significant number of alumni. This is a great chance for our alums who do not get a chance to visit campus often to see our football team compete."

In addition to the Indiana game Sept. 3, Ball State's non-conference football schedule for 2011 includes a Sept. 10 game at South Florida, a Sept. 24 home game vs. Army and an Oct. 1 game at Oklahoma. The Cardinals' Mid-American Conference schedule has not yet been announced by the league office.

"Our non-conference schedule is very challenging with three Bowl Championship Series opponents, as well as a much improved Army program that is fresh off its first bowl win in several years," Lembo says. "We will have to have a great preseason in order to be ready for a daunting month of September."

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