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.