- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indianapolis Colts are on a property-buying spree around Lucas Oil Stadium to control more of its game day parking.

The Colts have spent at least $6.3 million in recent months to buy about nine acres of land that is mostly vacant and used for parking by other companies since the stadium opened in 2008, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

Colts executive Pete Ward said it was important for the team to control parking near the downtown stadium.

“Surface parking is particularly desirable for tailgating - an important and traditional element to the game day experience for many of our fans,” Ward said.

Coronavirus-related attendance restrictions have reduced parking lot use so far this season. Ward said recent games have drawn better crowds to the lots, “but with the reduced capacity for this year, we don’t expect all spaces to be utilized.”

The newspaper cited city records for some of the property sales to determine how much the Colts paid. Ward declined to comment on the purchase price for any of the properties, although he said the team didn’t have plans to redevelop any of the land.

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