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The Capital Improvement Board on Monday awarded contracts for a $2.1 million suite-expansion project at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The CIB, a city agency that runs sports facilities and the Indiana Convention Center, agreed in April to spend up to $2 million for the work in a deal with the Indianapolis Colts. That leaves a small amount for the Colts to cover.

The NFL team requested the addition of two luxury suites and the conversion of two food pantries into small kitchens. The stadium currently has 141 suites, with space to construct up to six more.

When the CIB struck the deal two months ago, critics questioned why the city was spending taxpayer money on luxury suites.

The decision also caught lawmakers’ attention. It was one of several factors that spurred the General Assembly to put 10-year limits on recent increases to the Marion County event admissions and car rental taxes that benefit the CIB.

CIB leaders said the project would keep the stadium at a “top-notch level” to attract events besides Colts games.

On Monday, the CIB approved six bids for $1.7 million in contracts, making up the bulk of project costs, CIB spokesman Robert Vane confirmed. They include $209,500 ato Harmon Construction, for structural work; $537,000 to Verkler Inc., for interior finishes; $458,000 to General Piping, for mechanical plumbing; and $320,917 to Stafford-Smith, for food service equipment.

Separately, the Colts are paying for the addition of two illuminated ribbon message boards in the Downtown stadium’s upper corners. The stadium has two others already.

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