NCAA BASKETBALL | Things To Do in Indianapolis

03/15/2017 12:38 AM

Plenty of UofL, UK and NKU basketball fans will be attending the NCAA Men’s Tournament first and second rounds in Indianapolis this weekend.

If you have never been to Indianapolis and are planning on making the trip to the Circle City, then let me be the first to tell you how much of a good time you will have.

I grew up in Carmel, a suburb just north of Indy. There are so many things you must check out when in the city this weekend. Here are some of my suggestions:

Sites:

The neat part about Indianapolis is that downtown is essentially walkable from end to end. (It’s not necessarily a short walk, but the point is, it’s a pretty compact downtown.) Of course, you have Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where the games are taking place. It is one of the nicest basketball stadiums in the country.

Not too far away from the Fieldhouse is the home of the Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium. This monster of a building dominates the south end of the downtown. I’d highly recommend taking a tour if you have the time. Like Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the nicest stadiums in the country.

Meanwhile, more sports facilities await, as Victory Field sits right next to the JW Marriott hotel, which is a glass building that dominates the west skyline of the city. The baseball diamond is home to the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

There are other non-sports related sites to check out in the downtown area as well. Monument Circle is the “center of the city.” The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at the location remembers those who have served in the military. When you look west while at the circle, you get an awesome view of the Indiana Statehouse.

Head just north of downtown to the campus of Butler University and you fill find the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse. The home of the Bulldogs has so much history inside, not only in Indiana college basketball, but also in Indiana high school basketball.

Racing fans, you have to check out the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over in Speedway, IN. This is my favorite place on Earth! Even if you are not a racing fan, it’s such an incredible place, not only from the history that has taken place inside of the facility, but also because of how big it is. Over 350,000 people packed into it last year for the Indy 500. It’s mind-blowing how large the facility is once you see it.

Another site to visit is the NCAA Hall of Champions. Located downtown, the building serves as a museum to showcase previous accomplishments of collegiate teams and athletes.

Activities:

If you get tired of attending basketball events, games, practice, whatever it may be, then you can decompress by taking a stroll around Circle Centre Mall. The mall in the heart of Indy features plenty of stores and is within walking distance to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Although it will be cold in Indianapolis this week, you need to take a stroll along the Central Canal. The canal goes right by the NCAA Hall of Champions and gives you incredible views of the city.

Restaurants / Nightlife:

There are so many restaurants to check out in Indianapolis, but hands-down the most famous one is St. Elmo Steak House. This restaurant features the best steak I have ever had in my life. Do not just only get the steak though. The restaurant’s spicy shrimp cocktail appetizer is a must-get. It will change your life!

Another great food place is Shapiro’s Delicatessen. This restaurant has some of the biggest deli sandwiches you will ever eat. I promise you, you will have enough leftovers for another meal when you eat here.

Breakfast fans, are you looking for some of the best donuts in the city? Look no further than Long’s Bakery. This place almost always has a line, but it’s well worth the wait. And make sure you have cash, because last time I was there, it was cash only.

For nightlife, Massachusetts Avenue, or more commonly known as Mass Ave, is a good place to go downtown. There are a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops on this stretch of road.

Finally, another cool nightlife area is Broad Ripple. It is not too far of a drive from downtown. It features plenty of restaurants and bars as well.

Andrew Chernoff

Andrew is a sports anchor and sports managing editor for Spectrum News. He covers sports all across the state of Kentucky for Sports Night, which airs weeknights at 6:30 and 10:30 on Spectrum News and anytime with Spectrum On Demand. Andrew was a sports anchor and reporter at KFDM/KBTV in Beaumont, Texas for four years before making the move back home to the Midwest. He is originally from Carmel, Indiana and majored in broadcast journalism and political science at Syracuse University.

When he’s not on the air or in the field covering sports, you can likely find Andrew playing golf, watching IndyCar and Formula 1 races, or exploring the state of Kentucky. His favorite sport is open-wheel racing. In fact, he has not missed an Indianapolis 500 since the early 2000s.

Whether he is working sporting events or not, he always loves talking sports. He is a prolific tweeter, so if you want to stay “in the know” about sports in the Bluegrass, follow Andrew on Twitter @ADChernoff. If you have a story idea for our sports team, send it to Andrew at Andrew.Chernoff@charter.com.

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