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Does Anyone Know the Story behind us getting the Lucas Oil Stadium?


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While at the Convention Sunday a sister told us that it took the Branch three attempts to get the Lucas Oil Stadium for the International Convention in Indianapolis, IN.  The first two attempts failed, as the brothers were turned down.  They decided to all pray about it and try a third time - this time they were able to all come to an agreement and we got the venue!  I'm wondering if anyone knows WHY Lucas Oil was so reluctant to rent to us?  Someone mentioned it might have to do with the Westboro Baptist's because they have picketted outside the Lucas Oil Stadium many times against other religious groups and certain other people or things and riot's ensued and the stadium didn't want any trouble.  Does anyone else know anything about this?  I think it would be interesting to find out the story behind how we finally got the Stadium for the IC.

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Brigette,

 

   I don't know anything about that, but since I did attend the convention there at Lucas Oil Stadium,

there are some things I can suggest, As well as some questions of my own That I would like to have

answered, if anyone knows. the Stadium itself is very beautiful and spacious. and is only about five

years old. But it is tightly controlled by its union, they even operating the elevators inside, rather than

the brothers like other conventions I have attended.

  The control of this union, as well as influences like you mentioned Brigette may have something to do

with the initial failure to gain the use of the stadium. It may be at least part of the answer to a couple

of other questions I have. as anyone who attended the convention can testify, traffic coming into the

convention was horrendous. so was parking. We may be kind of spoiled coming from Ohio and having

our summer conventions at the Nutter Center. But at least traffic never even approached what we were

dealing with here ( of course we have more than four time the people at Lucas Oil than the Nutter ).

But the Nutter Center has big spacious parking all around the facility. Each morning our family sat in

traffic for over an hour. and this was only a few blocks away from the Stadium. Then parking was also

very difficult. We speculated was this might of been. since as I said this is a union controlled stadium

they perhaps rufused to turn part of the parking over to us, for fear of loss of revenue to themselves.

Or  perhaps since this is a new stadium, perhaps the city has yet to provide adequate parking for the

stadium. I don't know. What I can best characterize it as  difficult. If any of you can shed more light

on this I would be interested. It was one of the sad features of an otherwise encouraging convention.

 

                                                                                                                           GStorrs456

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I couldn't believe the lack of adequate parking for a stadium this big either! I fell one day because the parking area jad such nad pot holes and ruts. What parking there was that was onsite or close needed to be used for disabled parking. I can't imafine dealing wirh such bad traffic and parking every year.

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The Branch had lots of trouble securing AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX as well.  Took almost a year before they got the ok.  The Convention Overseer ( I think that's what he is called) said all the stadiums were not keen on having the witnesses there.  Alot had to do with the fact that 1. we were inviting the public 2. we needed to bring bags into the stadium's that were clearly against stadium rules 3. we wanted to clean the stadium 

 

Convention Overseer said the branch started talking to the stadiums in early 2012, and it was in 2013 when they all started approving us being there.  AT&T Stadium according to the convention overseer was the last to get approval.  Think it was July/2013 when they gave the all clear for us.

Edited by ava
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Brigette,

 

   I don't know anything about that, but since I did attend the convention there at Lucas Oil Stadium,

there are some things I can suggest, As well as some questions of my own That I would like to have

answered, if anyone knows. the Stadium itself is very beautiful and spacious. and is only about five

years old. But it is tightly controlled by its union, they even operating the elevators inside, rather than

the brothers like other conventions I have attended.

  The control of this union, as well as influences like you mentioned Brigette may have something to do

with the initial failure to gain the use of the stadium. It may be at least part of the answer to a couple

of other questions I have. as anyone who attended the convention can testify, traffic coming into the

convention was horrendous. so was parking. We may be kind of spoiled coming from Ohio and having

our summer conventions at the Nutter Center. But at least traffic never even approached what we were

dealing with here ( of course we have more than four time the people at Lucas Oil than the Nutter ).

But the Nutter Center has big spacious parking all around the facility. Each morning our family sat in

traffic for over an hour. and this was only a few blocks away from the Stadium. Then parking was also

very difficult. We speculated was this might of been. since as I said this is a union controlled stadium

they perhaps rufused to turn part of the parking over to us, for fear of loss of revenue to themselves.

Or  perhaps since this is a new stadium, perhaps the city has yet to provide adequate parking for the

stadium. I don't know. What I can best characterize it as  difficult. If any of you can shed more light

on this I would be interested. It was one of the sad features of an otherwise encouraging convention.

 

                                                                                                                           GStorrs456

 

 

AT&T Stadium had their own operators at the elevator as well as their own security.  Texas is a right to work state, very anti union.

 

These things pretty much occurred at all stadiums in the US.

 

The stadiums per our information from the branch are all considered terrorist targets and US Dept of Homeland Security is very, very, very involved in all security measures for all events at the NFL Stadiums. That is why the brothers didn't do as much as they normally would have.

Edited by ava
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Ava,

 

  Thanks for your insight. That might be part of the answer. But in the over 40 years we have had

now coming to conventions ( some of them very large ( Woodbine Racetrack, Canada, 1970 - 32,000,

Riverfront Stadium, Ohio, 1971 - 36,000, Louisville, Ky., 1972 - 12,000, Detroit, Mich., 1973 - 58,000,

etc.) we have NEVER ran into such traffic and parking problems. Some we have had to hike a rather

long distance ( Louisville and Columbus, Ohio ). But that was all of the "fun and excitement" of going

to a big convention. Maybe I'm getting old, but there was nothing fun about this. As I said in my post

in the Spoiler section, the traffic and my Dad's health issues caused us to miss the last day of the con-

vention. And I just learned another sister who is a nurse here where I live and who has three children

and an unbelieving husband had to cut her stay at the convention short for the same reason. So that

makes me feel sad.

    Like everyone else I had so looked forward to this convention. I also had so looked forward to the

Sunday program, as a shot in both my arm, and especially my aging father. As I have mentioned

elsewhere on this forum, three years ago we lost my Mom. Now one of things that keeps him going

is the hope of seeing her in the resurrection. And with that video on Sunday about the resurrection I

so wanted him to get to see it. At least with the DVDs or whatever they are he still will. So while I loved

the part of the convention I did get to see. and I still hope to put up pictures of it. I still feel sad about the

part we missed. and I am glad I have a place where I can come and "vent" a little bit, and express my

true feelings.

                                                                                                                                   GStorrs46

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We had traffic issues and parking issues as well.  We knew in advance though it would be bad as it's always bad down there during games and other events. We have two stadiums a few blocks apart, so traffic is always bad.  This year we had our convention, and the TX Rangers stadium had ballgames all three days, so yeah, traffic not fun afterwards for many.  The baseball game started in the afternoon, but they ended right when the majority of the witnesses were leaving the convention each day.  

 

I got there early at 7 am, so I was able to avoid the issues and had no problems, but I know many who got there between 8-9 and some at 930, and they had some pretty bad stories about the parking/traffic.

 

I am very sorry though that you had to miss some of the convention.  A friend of mine from Oklahoma was in TX for our International.  She left her hotel on Friday at 8 am, and sadly with traffic/parking, she didn't get into the stadium til 11 am.  Her hotel was about 45 min away, and she just got out too late.

 

I can honestly say this, and this is just from what I saw with ones down here in TX, I can't speak on what happened at other cities.  The friends down here honestly didn't allow the extra time for the stadium.  I had many tell me before hand "we plan on leaving at 8 am or 830".  Now in years past, with only 3000 people going to a place for the convention, that would have been sufficient, but not this year.  Our elders constantly told us from the stage to plan on leaving very, very early, and expect lots of traffic and expect lots of parking issues.  The earlier you leave, the less likely you will deal with it.  With 50,000 people attending, well it's just not the same as a few thousand.

 

I left on Friday at 645 for a 15 minute drive.  I arrived at the stadium at 7 am and parked right up front, got out and stood in line for one hour.  Since I was early, we were right up front in the line and we waited til 8 am when the doors unlocked.  So I was inside at 8 am, when the majority of the ones were probably still at their homes/hotels.  I realize not all can leave that early due to health issues or small children, but myself and my kids decided the night before to leave at 645 am and we are happy we did.  

 

I was out last Saturday with some friends, and this couple were really venting about the parking/traffic.  I asked them straight out "when did you leave" (their house is few minutes from mine) they told me "9 am".  Sadly, that is right when probably 50% or more of the people headed out.  Too many ones down here thought "we only live a few minutes, so I can sleep longer and leave later".

 

Again, I am sorry you missed some.  I hope you are able to get some recordings of the parts you missed. I know that is not the same as being there.  I am very sorry though it was rough on you and your family.  I truly hope you enjoyed the time you did have there.

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I know when my mother in law was waiting with my daughterfor me to get back from passing literature out one of the security members made her vacate the seat she was at because they needed to clean. I haven't gotten to hear from other brothers and sisters if they were allowed to clean much or not.

We got there almost seven every day so we didn't have much trouble parking but I do know others did. I know I'd never have a desire to see a game there. I can only imagine how bad things are when they're packed full...I think peak attendance was almost 34000. Imagine twice that many people!

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I heard that MetLife Stadium treated the brothers great. They didn't have any issues complying with the brothers requests. They had an open dialogue and constantly gave each other updates. A brother who worked at that convention said that the MetLife management team were very pleasant to work with. I guess it just depends on who owns the stadiums. Some owners like the witnesses and cooperate well with them. Others are very hesitant and are very stubborn.

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Indy had absolutely no publicity about the event at all, not in the news or even on the digital sign outside the stadium! At the hotel I was at, the workers were very nice and seemed to appreciate that we were there, but other than that, I got the feeling that Indy didn't really appreciate us being there. I've since heard from someone that the Mayor of Indy had to get involved and get the Lucas Oil Stadium to rent to us - he felt the city could use the revenue we would bring in for two weekends (Spanish convention is this coming weekend at Lucas).

Edited by shali
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The Branch had lots of trouble securing AT&T Stadium in Arlington TX as well.  Took almost a year before they got the ok.  The Convention Overseer ( I think that's what he is called) said all the stadiums were not keen on having the witnesses there.  Alot had to do with the fact that 1. we were inviting the public 2. we needed to bring bags into the stadium's that were clearly against stadium rules 3. we wanted to clean the stadium

How strange that anyone would be against our cleaning their stadium!  It boggles the mind!!  :perplexed:

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Ava,

 

  Thanks for your insight. That might be part of the answer. But in the over 40 years we have had

now coming to conventions ( some of them very large ( Woodbine Racetrack, Canada, 1970 - 32,000,

Riverfront Stadium, Ohio, 1971 - 36,000, Louisville, Ky., 1972 - 12,000, Detroit, Mich., 1973 - 58,000,

etc.) we have NEVER ran into such traffic and parking problems. Some we have had to hike a rather

long distance ( Louisville and Columbus, Ohio ). But that was all of the "fun and excitement" of going

to a big convention. Maybe I'm getting old, but there was nothing fun about this. As I said in my post

in the Spoiler section, the traffic and my Dad's health issues caused us to miss the last day of the con-

vention. And I just learned another sister who is a nurse here where I live and who has three children

and an unbelieving husband had to cut her stay at the convention short for the same reason. So that

makes me feel sad.

    Like everyone else I had so looked forward to this convention. I also had so looked forward to the

Sunday program, as a shot in both my arm, and especially my aging father. As I have mentioned

elsewhere on this forum, three years ago we lost my Mom. Now one of things that keeps him going

is the hope of seeing her in the resurrection. And with that video on Sunday about the resurrection I

so wanted him to get to see it. At least with the DVDs or whatever they are he still will. So while I loved

the part of the convention I did get to see. and I still hope to put up pictures of it. I still feel sad about the

part we missed. and I am glad I have a place where I can come and "vent" a little bit, and express my

true feelings.

                                                                                                                                   GStorrs46

Detroit, MI in 1973 and it 58,000. WOW!! I was there. Also, I came to find out about two years ago that I went to last 7 or 8 day convetion in 1969 in Chicago. I think it was in Comiskey Park and the race riots were going on and the media couln't believe how black and whites can getting along with one another at the convention.

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How strange that anyone would be against our cleaning their stadium!  It boggles the mind!!  :perplexed:

 

At AT&T, they had areas with marble and other stuff, and they would not let us clean that.

 

Also, as to cleaning the entire place, again it all went back to security.  People they don't know all over the stadium, possibly walking into restricted areas, it was simply security concerns.

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Brigette,

 

   I don't know anything about that, but since I did attend the convention there at Lucas Oil Stadium,

there are some things I can suggest, As well as some questions of my own That I would like to have

answered, if anyone knows. the Stadium itself is very beautiful and spacious. and is only about five

years old. But it is tightly controlled by its union, they even operating the elevators inside, rather than

the brothers like other conventions I have attended.

 

 

 

AT&T Stadium had their own operators at the elevator as well as their own security.  Texas is a right to work state, very anti union.

 

 

Detroit is the same way.  I have spoke to a few brothers that will be attendants at Detroit 2 (where I'm assigned).  They said Ford Field will have their own elevator operators.  I noticed Lucas Oil Stadium also had their own custodial staff working during the program.  I wonder what they thought of everything.  Since they were there, they had to hear some of the program.

 

It may not b e so much the "Union" that is manipulating things in this case as it is the NFL.

 

Ava,

 

  Thanks for your insight. That might be part of the answer. But in the over 40 years we have had

now coming to conventions ( some of them very large ( Woodbine Racetrack, Canada, 1970 - 32,000,

Riverfront Stadium, Ohio, 1971 - 36,000, Louisville, Ky., 1972 - 12,000, Detroit, Mich., 1973 - 58,000,

etc.) we have NEVER ran into such traffic and parking problems. 

 

Some of the problems we're facing may be, like I said, stemming from the NFL.  They imposed new, very strict security measures either this year or last year at all NFL stadiums.  These security measures were for the stadiums in general and not just during NFL games.  I'm just glad we weren't subject to searches at Indianapolis.  I had feared we would be stopped and inspected every day.  

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   I thank all of you for your concern and comforting thoughts. As I said, perhaps these security issues and

the relunctance to rent Lucas Oil Stadium to the witnesses had something to do with both the traffic issues

and parking. For example, the police parade for the fallen officer took place at 8:00, right at the height of

people coming in for the convention. While I have genuine sympathy for the officer and his family, that did

kind of feel like an in your face type of thing. And may have been a reflection of the overall attitude against

the witnesses. Why have that parade at the very time they knew would be high traffic time for those going

to the convention ? I think that kind of speaks for itself.

 

                                                                                                                                          GStorrs46

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Detroit, MI in 1973 and it 58,000. WOW!! I was there. Also, I came to find out about two years ago that I went to last 7 or 8 day convetion in 1969 in Chicago. I think it was in Comiskey Park and the race riots were going on and the media couln't believe how black and whites can getting along with one another at the convention.

I'm pretty sure my mother got baptized at that convention (Lake Michigan!), it was also about the time man landed on the moon!
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I agree with you Michael about the police funeral and the timing of it all. The people of all people would know the traffic patterns to expect for each day that an extra 30,000+ people are coming into town and they surely knew what time the stadium doors were set to open. It did seem like a slap in the face and a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" type situation. Perhaps the lack of cooperation is why the Branch has decided to sell the assembly hall in Indy too.

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I agree with you Michael about the police funeral and the timing of it all. The people of all people would know the traffic patterns to expect for each day that an extra 30,000+ people are coming into town and they surely knew what time the stadium doors were set to open. It did seem like a slap in the face and a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" type situation. Perhaps the lack of cooperation is why the Branch has decided to sell the assembly hall in Indy too.

I never thought of it that way, but now that you mention it I do agree.
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