Lucas Oil Stadium Opens Today

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Dealer Expo 2009 Indianapolis

THE RCA DOME (DEMOLISHED in 2008) played an important role in Dealer Expo for many years. Picking up the torch this year is the brand-new Lucas Oil Stadium, whose exhibits open at 10 a.m. today.

Whereas show attendees could possibly pass up the old stadium, the new one is a necessity. It houses registration and roughly 40 percent of the exhibits.

Lucas Oil is more spacious and magnificent than the old dome, but it does have one drawback: You have to venture outside to get to it from the Indiana Convention Center, which opens tomorrow. No fear, though. Shuttles will be running in a continuous loop all day long. Routes are posted at www.dealerexpo.com/shuttle, and maps and schedules are available at each host hotel and in both exhibit halls. If the weather doesn't bother you, the walk between the halls is short. Coat checks will be available at both places.

Whether you catch a ride or work out your legs, you'll want to return to the stadium continually. In addition to all of the exhibitors, live fashion shows will feature a variety of manufacturers and distributors showcasing their newest jackets, pants, boots and gloves several times a day, all weekend long.

Lucas Oil will also house eight of the nine specialty pavilions debuting this year (see page 18). More than 40 companies will comprise the Big Twin Country Pavilion, which will focus on vehicles and products for the V-twin lifestyle. An International Pavilion will feature exhibitors from Canada, China, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan and other nations (the popular Italian Pavilion continues to be in the Convention Center). Other pavilions are dedicated to gear, new exhibitors, the scooter market, tools and equipment, the sportbike market, and new vehicles.

Hungry showgoers can find something to eat at the stadium's two cafés. They also can check out the American Motorcycle Association Walk of Fame, the Dealernews Top 100 Gallery, and the seminars hosted by Dealership University.

For those of you who are toting a family along, a Kids Camp Daycare located on the field level in Room 10 opens at 10 a.m. today. (There will be a second Kids Camp opening at 9 a.m. tomorrow on the second floor of the Convention Center.)

Again, all this takes place at the Lucas Oil Stadium. So for those of you who resist change, you might as well surrender now. — Arlo Redwine