Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis Colts
Good to the Last Drop
Lucas Oil Stadium opened in 2008 for the Indianapolis Colts and is one of the centerpieces of not only the city but for the National Football League (NFL). It possesses a true downtown feel with bars, hotels, restaurants, and nightlife just a few steps away from the main entrance. Its design also blends in well with the surrounding area but stands out significantly within the city’s landscape.
The 62,421-seat venue features a retractable roof that remains open unless inclement weather or lightning is within the vicinity of the stadium, the temperature drops below 40° F, or wind gusts are greater than 40 miles per hour. However, once the roof is closed, it is not allowed to be reopened. The open roof does provide a nice natural breeze throughout the sections of the stadium and provides some great vantage points of downtown buildings.
The streets are packed with fans and nearby Georgia Street is open for pedestrians allowing fans to openly carry alcoholic drinks in a cup; Touchdown Town is just footsteps from the main entrance and provides live music, skills tests for kids, food samples, and more good times. Even if you are not a football fan, there is a lot of excitement to attract fans to the game.
Food & Beverage 4
There are 59 permanent and 90 portable concession stands with more than 500 points of sale located throughout the stadium offering everything from your basic nachos and hot dogs to quesadilla egg rolls and smoked brisket sandwiches.
There is a fantastic variety of concession options throughout the three main concourses that it might be wise to take a look at first to see what is available before making a choice. It is not uncommon to find something with a little more variety around each corner of the building.
Tasty options include the Colts Nation dog, a chicken sausage topped with apple jalapeno slaw, Italian grinders or shredded pork banh-mi sandwiches, and Johnsonville spicy sausage served on a pretzel bun. New concession items include turkey burgers with jalapeno slaw, chicken panini, street tacos, and loaded tater tots.
Coca-Cola products are available, along with beer options from Budweiser, Coors, Miller, and their family of beers. Local microbrewery Sun King offers a cream ale, Scotch ale, and pale ale at multiple stands inside the building.
The design of the stadium itself is neither modern nor chic, but blends in nicely with existing buildings and nearby factories that once dominated the landscape in this part of town.
At most stadiums, fans enter vast parking lots well before kickoff to set up chairs, tents, and grills and begin their festivities. However, the stadium is located a few feet from vast bars and restaurants that open early for Sunday afternoon home games.
One of the first places you see as you near the stadium is Touchdown Town that opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes just before the game starts at 12:30 p.m. For the duration of its two and a half hours of operation, the area provides a perfect canvas for all fans.
“Touchdown Town was created to offer fans of all ages a place to gather together to celebrate and build excitement for the upcoming game,” stated Larry Hall, Colts Vice-President of Ticket Operations and Guest Services. “Fans can enjoy a variety of activities including live music, football drills, giveaways and food, and drink specials. Touchdown Town serves as the Colts premier pre-game party location.”
Once inside, there is not a bad seat in the house in the spacious building. The main entrance features a sound stage for pre-concerts that overlooks the football field. Fans line up around the stage or watch pre-game practice on the field. The wide open area serves as a town meeting hall for fans and you cannot help but look around in awe if you are first time patron.
A sound stage for pre-game concerts overlooks the football field at the main entry plaza. Oversized collages of former Colts players and moments against the wall entitled “A House Built by Champions” features an homage to the state’s car racing industry with various model cars on display in the area.
Outside the stadium on South Street is the Peyton Manning statue that was unveiled in 2017, the most prolific player in the team’s Indianapolis history and one of the all-time greats put this team on the map and could be credited for the construction of the very building that stands behind him.
The stadium is within walking distance of nearly 50 different places to eat, drink and dance. There are many ideal spots within blocks in the downtown area along with a few more choices in other neighborhoods a little less than a mile or so from the stadium.
Kilroy’s Bar N’ Grill and Scotty’s Brewhouse are two local establishments that have made their mark downtown and have plenty of room to accommodate fans before or after the game. The Slippery Noodle is a local institution and the oldest bar in the state, its location offers music, food, and drinks and is across the street from the stadium.
The Fountain Square neighborhood is highly recommended and is bustling on the weekends. A few recommendations are Chili Water and Fountain Square Brewing, video games at Tappers, giant burgers at Kuma’s Corner, or duckpin bowling in a retro atmosphere. There is even a distillery making some pretty special drinks at Hotel Whiskey Tango.
Mass Ave is another vibrant area offering more dining and drinking options. A few recommendations include The Eagle for some of the best fried chicken in town, St. Joseph’s Brewery located in an old church, FortyFive Degrees for live music and great food, and BRU Burger Bar–fantastic homemade ketchup to dip into your fries.
If you are with the family, downtown has an array of attractions including the Indiana State Museum, Circle Centre Mall, NCAA Hall of Champions, and The Canal Walk. However, one of the true hidden gems is the Indiana Experience at the Historical Society. Visitors can step into three-dimensional re-creations of historic photographs complete with characters.
The fans of the Colts have been quite spoiled this century with only two losing seasons–one of those years landed the team franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. The town that historically favors basketball became a football town with the success of the team and the play of quarterback Peyton Manning. The team also honors many of its season ticket holders with banners on the top level and their impact can be felt each and every game.
Lucas Oil Stadium is a downtown venue that is easily accessible from the interstate. The imposing structure is visible off of I-70 and there are more than the city and private lots to choose from to park your car. These lots range from $20-$30 and if you are lucky, you may even find free street parking on Sundays.
If you do a little more searching and feel like walking, there are less expensive options north of the stadium off of Meridian, Pennsylvania, and Capitol Streets. However, for $20, you cannot complain about parking close to the venue and the ability to get out quickly once the game has ended.
Downtown Indianapolis has an array of one-way streets, but many of them are reverted to direct traffic back onto the interstate after the game. An honorable job of this magnitude is handled by local police.
Return on Investment 5
The single price for a ticket ranges from game to game and depending on how well the Colts are playing. When the team is sporting a less than stellar record, the price of a ticket on the second-hand market website can be well under $20 or less. Concession items are reasonable and parking prices are less expensive than many other NFL stadiums making the return on your investment a perfect five stars.
One point for the staff who have been trained to assist families with autistic children so they can optimize their game day experience. Customer service counters offer soundproof headphones and weighted blankets to help offset the loud atmosphere inside the building. There are picture menus at all permanent concession stands and the team has also added a “Social Story” to its website, which provides helpful information and photos.
A second point for the banners that honor season ticket holders along the upper concourse. Each banner features a face and year they have been season ticket holders.
A third point for the Bud Light Zone that is the perfect spot to hang out with friends and enjoy the game at the same time. The area is located on the upper concourse at the north end of the building and is a massive party all four quarters.
A fourth point for the numerous food options that are introduced each season. A few are becoming regulars at the game.
A final point for the pre-game atmosphere that includes Touchdown Town, Georgia Street, and pre-game concerts inside the facility.
Lucas Oil Stadium has consistently ranked as one of the best stadium experiences, taking the top spot on the Stadium Journey 2012 best stadium experiences list. It has been our highest ranked NFL stadium experience every year since 2011 when we began publishing our annual ranking. The pre-game festivities, friendly staff, frenzied environment, and location just steps from some of the city’s top restaurants and bars makes for a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Did you enjoy this content? Help support our work by becoming a supporter of Stadium Journey on Patreon. Supporter levels begin at just $2/month.
Indiana Historical Society
450 W. Ohio St
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
One South Capitol Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Indianapolis Dtn-Conv Ctr Area
410 S Missouri St
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Do you want to add your listing on StadiumJourney.com? Here’s how!
Latest Crowd Reviews
While the Colts may be in a down run right now with no Andrew Luck at QB, you wouldn&#039t know it. Fans are out in full force and are into the game always. It is one of the newer stadiums but it has that Indianapolis vibe. POSITIVES: The food selection and quality is magnificent. The place is clean, inside and outside and you can pretty much see anywhere in the stadium. I liked the warehouse feel of the place as well as it just screamed like a Midwest place (though they&#039re in the AFC South). Everything about the place was ship-shape. And you were relatively close by places to eat and such. NEGATIVES: Besides pricing? Nothing really. Great place all around. Has to be one of the best venues in the NFL.