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Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, Indiana – A VenRoo favorite…
Indianapolis has always been one of our favorite venues for catching an NFL game. Everything about it makes the game day (and weekend) a wonderful experience. Indianapolis is one of the few stadiums we’ve seen that is located near everything you’d want. All the hotels, restaurants, bars, parking and tailgating are within walking distance of the stadium. Add that to the proximity of the stadium to the interstate, and you have yourself an easy drive in along with a hassle free stay.
The stadium is easy to find, just north of the I-465 on the south end of the by-pass. If you’re coming in for the day, you will find all kinds of parking at the stadium or along the streets in various lots. On game day, there is plenty of tailgating in all the lots and the fans are more than welcoming. Of all the stadiums we’ve been to, and all of the tailgating we have done, the Indy fans are probably the nicest and most welcoming of all NFL cities. I cannot count how many times someone in a Peyton Manning jersey has approached someone from our group to find out where we were from and to welcome us to their city.
We prefer to stay the weekend for our games and stay at one of the many downtown hotels. Nearly all the hotels and restaurants are within a 3 block by 4 block walking area. The Hilton and Hyatt are our favorites, but they can be a little pricey on game weekends. Once you are checked in and the car is parked, you will not have any problem finding a place to eat or drink (there’s even a downtown shopping mall)
Some of our favorite places include Ram Restaurant & Brewery, Alcatraz Brewing, and Kilroy’s Bar & Grill. And of course, you need to stop by the Slippery Noodle on your way back from the game. If you don’t know what the Slippery Noodle is all about, ask any local and they can fill you in.
When it’s game time, it’s a quick walk to Lucas Oil Stadium from wherever you are. We liked the old RCA dome, especially when it was connected with sky walks to the Hyatt hotel, but we love Lucas Oil. The brick and rectangle shape make it unlike any other stadium in the league and the retractable roof allows for watching the game in any weather condition. The seating is fairly typical with the usual “Lower Bowl” and “Upper Bowl” split by a few smaller sections. We loved the Terrace Level, which is the last section before the Upper Bowl with only 6 rows in the entire section. It makes for a shorter and easier walk if you need to get up and down from your seats during the game (it also makes the restrooms and concessions a lot closer…). But overall, there didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house.
Of course with the Super Bowl this weekend, the experience will be over the top compared to a normal regular season game day. And given the hospitality we receive from the Hoosiers, if you’re lucky enough to make it to Indy, it will be an experience of a lifetime.
VenRoo – Tracking the venues you’ve visited. This is our tag line for our posters of stadiums on a map of the U.S., where you can display and track the stadiums you’ve visited. We created the poster for ourselves, as we started traveling with a group of friends to a different NFL stadium each year. As we started to grow and promote our business through blogs, social media, and our website, we started to meet new people around the country who loved to see various stadiums too.
One person, in particular, was Hans Steiniger and his Quest for 31 – One Man’s Crusade to Attend an NFL Game in all 31 Stadiums in the National Football League. What a great combination; we have a poster to track your NFL stadium travels, and Hans is on a crusade to see them all and experience the game from the perspective of the home team. We have since communicated through email and discussed various travels and tips and Hans has been very helpful in spreading the word about our poster.
We recently spoke with Hans to get more information on his ‘crusade’. He first attended games in Buffalo, as a Bills fan and moved to the Detroit area. While in Detroit he made it to a few Lions and Browns games and then traveled to Tampa to visit some family. While in Tampa he realized that the stadiums and games were a great opportunity to experience the various locations and thought it would be cool to see all 31 NFL stadiums.
Hans made it to all 31 stadiums, in only four years, while wearing a jersey from each home team, and saw a little over 50 games. He made some great friends along the way and always tried to find the ‘spot’ at the game where the locals hung out. He said he would even get calls from people asking when he was coming back to their stadium.
After experiencing all those games and stadiums, you get a good feel for various traits that make a stadium stand out. It was hard for Hans to pick out his single favorite stadium, but he did like: Quest Field (Seattle)– for its design (and 12th man noise) and awesome food varieties at the concessions; Lambeau (Green Bay) for its all around classic feel; Cowboys Stadium (Dallas/Arlington) for just being over the top on everything; and you can’t beat the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium (Tampa). If you ever go to Minnesota you should buy a hollowed-out horn as a ‘glass’ to drink your beer.
With his quest for the 31 NFL stadiums complete, Hans continues to visit stadiums and maintain relationships with people he’s met on his quest. He’ll pull out one the team jerseys from a foot locker, where they’re safely stored, and hit the road for another fun weekend. Of course his favorite jersey is a Bills #31 with the name “Quest For” on the back.
Hans isn’t stopping with the NFL. He’s started other quests for NHL and NBA and even has a Sports Themed Wedding Invitation website, which is real cool. So, be sure to look out for Hans at your next tailgate and stop by his websites to catchup on his travels
Most die-hard fans know their teams and opponents and can easily decide the winners of the games for their weekly office pools. But what do you do if you’re in the pool for fun and don’t know much about the teams? You can make your picks based on the team colors or the mascots. Or, better yet, you can refer to your Venroo Stadium Map Poster. Our kids love to look at the poster to see where the teams are playing and how far they have to travel to their opponent’s stadium. They also like to base their pick on how cool the stadium is.
What great family fun… teaching kids the concept of odds and a little geography at the same time. Good Luck in your pools.
We had a great time at Lucas Oil Stadium, watching the preseason game between the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts. This was our first time to the new stadium (and the Redskins too) and we were not disappointed. Indianapolis is a big city but so easy to get around. The stadium is just off I-465 on the south end, and we had no problem finding parking, which seemed to average $20. When we arrived the roof was open, which was cool to see, even though it was a little hot inside. They must have figured that out too, as they closed the roof (during the game) and it cooled off real nice.
Our tickets were on the Terrace level in the corner under one of two big screens. We would recommend the Terrace level, as it circles the stadium and offers easy access to the rows of seats. We had to go down 3 rows to our seats and only had 3 rows in front of us. The upper section above the Terrace level had around 28 rows, so you’ll do some good stairmaster drills climbing them. We didn’t get any lower than the Terrace level, but there did not seem to be a bad seat in the place. The two big screen monitors were easy to see and offered video and replays of the games. We were a little disappointed in the scoreboard. The ones at the end zones, showed the scores and time remaining, but if you wanted to see downs, yards, etc it was under the big monitors, but they would change quite often
Concessions were dispersed evenly around the stadium with draft beer running around $7.50. They primarily offered Budweiser products with various other specialty stands. We also had a good time chatting with the Colts fans. Indianapolis has always been a great city to see a game and the fans are friendly and hospitable.
If you stay in the downtown area, the walk from the stadium is real close and there’s tons of restaurants, bars, shopping, and hotels. We highly recommend Lucas Oil Stadium and look forward to going back for a regular season game. Don’t forget the Superbowl in 2012.
As the 2011 season kicks-off, be sure to checkout our Pro Football Stadium poster on www.venroo.com to help you track your stadium visits and to display all the stadiums on a map of the U.S.
Even though it’s the middle of summer and we didn’t go to St Louis to see a Rams game, it’s always fun to see the stadiums when you’re in town. We took the kids to the City Museum in St. Louis and there was a great view of the dome from the roof top (even higher on the ferris wheel. The kids were not as impressed as I was but they did stand still long enough for me to take some photos.
St Louis is a great town to see a game. It has the big city feel in a compact area. There are a lot of great hotels, restaurants and bars all within a few blocks walking distance. We love to stay at the Hampton Inn, which is very close to the stadium. They have great parking, and complimentary breakfast, which is a big bonus.
We are looking forward to going back to see a Rams game this year, assuming there will be a season (I’m sure they’ll work it all out).
With the NFL Schedule released last week and the NFL Draft this week, how can you not be excited for the 2011 season?
To celebrate, VenRoo is offering a reduced price and free shipping on its Pro Football stadium map poster, for a limited time. This makes a great gift for any football fan and is a great conversation piece in any rec room, man cave, office, or garage. Fans of all ages love looking at the locations of the stadiums and seeing where they want to go, or just where their favorite team is going to play.
Visit the new Venroo website and get a poster for yourself or a friend. Save more when you buy multiple posters.
Green Bay has got to be the best overall venue we’ve experienced. From the town, the people, the stadium, and the bars and restaurants, we had a blast everywhere we went. The area around the stadium is compact, and filled with plenty of hotels and restaurants. We stayed at the Tundra Lodge in a couple of their “suite” rooms. They had a great breakfast and bar right in the hotel, and it was within walking distance of the stadium and other bars.
Lambeau field is open to the public during the week, which we visited on Saturday. They have several places to eat and drink, along with a museum if you want to take in some Packer culture.
At first we didn’t know if we wanted to tailgate at the stadium during the game or find a bar, but we quickly learned from the local restaurants, on Saturday, that several offer pre-game specials. These specials included food and all you can drink for a flat rate. We had a blast at Favre’s (yes Brett Favre’s restaurant), the morning of the game. We went in mid September and experienced a bonus heat wave, with nearly 80 degree temperatures, so it was plenty warm during the day (we probably won’t be so lucky the next time we go).
The stadium is awesome, even with bleacher seating. It’s not like your typical bowl stadium with lower and upper bowls that take you, what seem like, thousands of feet in the air. This stadium is much lower to the ground, so you have a great experience anywhere you sit.
We knew we wanted to go to Green Bay, before the NFL schedule was released. We also knew the tickets and hotels sell out fast. So, the day the schedule came out, we had two groups of guys working the phones. One group started calling the hotels, while the other worked the ticket brokers. Within 10 minutes we had 8 tickets, in the same row, and two awesome rooms at the Tundra Lodge. We probably got these within a few minutes of selling out the tickets and hotels for the entire season. So, if you know you’re going to Green Bay for the first time, be prepared for some extra time and expense, unless you plan ahead and act fast.
We visited Denver in 2008, which was our first trip with all of us flying into the town. We highly recommend booking a car ahead of time to get you from the airport to Denver, especially a Limo. With 10 of us in our group, a large limo was very reasonable, and fun, for the 20 mile ride into the city.
We stayed at a Residence Inn Hotel, near the 16th street mall. The Residence Inns are fantastic hotels and offer great breakfast and happy hours with huge rooms. We always try to find a Residence Inn for all our trips.
The stadium is near downtown, but not within walking distance. We chose to stay near the 16th Street Mall area, which has great bars and restaurants to keep us busy the day before the game. One tip is to use the FREE Trolley to take you up and down the street. We didn’t see the big “FREE” sign all over the trolleys to know that we can get on and ride for FREE, until late afternoon. Now we know.
Getting to the stadium was an adventure, but we finally made it. By taking the Free trolley, walking to the train station, finding the right train to take us near the stadium, then walking about half a mile we finally made it. Denver’s tailgating is pretty good, but we were surprised the parking lot didn’t really fill up until late morning. Everyone in the lot was friendly and fun to hang out with.
When we finally went into the game and walked up to our seats, which were on the 20 yard line (four rows from the top), we realized why they call it Mile High Stadium… It’s a mile from the top of the sky, not a mile from the ground. Wow, that air is thin.
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Watching the game is the ultimate goal of your football trip, but getting to, and around, the city is the first part. What city do you like best for pre-game activities? Cities that have the stadiums close to resturants, bars, public transportation, hotels, and tailgating, are on the top of our list. We have the best time when we get to a city and stay in a hotel right near the stadium with plenty of activities to keep us busy the day before and morning of a game. Which city is the best, in your opinion?