Stadium #17
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, IN
Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts Stadium
December 6, 2009
27 - 17 Win

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  Stadium Vitals
Built: 2008
Capacity: 63,000 seats
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Draft Beer:  $7.50     
Hot Dog:  $3.50
Stadium Parking: $20.00 
Lucas Oil
Stadium Address

500 South Capitol Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 262-8600
Get Directions 
 


Stadium Review - Hanging with the Blue Crew
With Lucas Oil Stadium replacing the old RCA dome last year, I knew a return trip to Indianapolis was in order, and there was no time like the present to watch Peyton Manning and the high flying Indianapolis Colts offense in action. Our esteemed commissioner of Tailgating, the great Joe Cahn, suggested I check out the Blue Crew if I was looking for the premiere tailgating experience in Indianapolis and he was absolutely right. The Blue Crew is the only tailgating club in the National Football League that actually leases their own parking lot for gameday tailgating each year. This actually puts them in a rather unique position when considering the restrictions on tailgating that may be coming by order of the No Fun League. As many are already aware, the NFL has suggested that teams restrict gameday tailgating to 3 ½ hours before gametime. Well, when you lease your own parking lot, you make your own rules. The rest of us may find it wise to take note of the Blue Crew’s example.  You guys truly are pioneers.

My journey to Lucas Oil Stadium actually began on Saturday morning with a six hour road trip from Detroit, Michigan down to Indianapolis, Indiana. Randy Collins, the president of the Blue Crew, owns his own sports bar just north of the city, called the Blue Crew Sports Grill. When I heard about this Indianapolis Colts-themed watering hole with a massive horseshoe shaped main bar, I knew we had to stop in for dinner and a beer … or several. Walking through the front door, guests are treated to an explosion of blue and white memorabilia, as the walls are covered with autographed jerseys, photos, and Super Bowl artifacts that chronicle the history of the franchise in Indianapolis. The food is excellent, the atmosphere exceptional, and I really liked that as you scan through the menu, you’ll find several tailgate-themed menu items there as well. The Blue Crew Sports grill is the type of bar that every Indianapolis Colts fan has to visit when they come to town and also one that any NFL fan can appreciate.

Gameday began early in the morning on Sunday as we reached the lot by a quarter to eight. Within the first twenty the minutes, the Blue Crew lot was alive with activity as blue and white vehicles found their assigned spots and a temporary tent community sprung into action for a full day of gameday celebration. The variety and quality of tailgate cruisers was really rather impressive. Along with your typical converted school buses, delivery trucks and conversion vans, the Blue Crew has taken custom cruisers to another level. Two Colts themed ambulances (ColtsFanbulance.com) and a full sized blue and white firetruck, have been completely restored and adequately accessorized in tribute to the home team. Like a K-mart special, flashing blue lights and sirens appear all over the lot as these first responders attend to needs of thirsty tailgaters anxious for another Colts win. The fire truck even had a blue and white Dalmatian dog, he was my personal favorite.

The Blue Crew lot is easily the place to be on gameday in Indianapolis. These blacktop culinarians are fearless in their food preparation, attempting a variety of delectable vittles for their annual cookoff, a rather prestigious competition that dates back over a decade. As I wandered through the lot to see what fans had cooking up, there were beer-basted brats, massive meat sandwiches with blue-colored hash browns, and bacon-wrapped blue cheese potato hors d’oeuvers. Colts fans know gameday eats and they’re exceptional hosts with a fine tradition that stacks up to any in the league. I found the Indianapolis Colts fans to be extremely friendly and knowledgeable on the game with that great midwestern hospitality that makes you feel right at home. Much of my morning was spent talking NFL football with some of the finest fans in the country. That is until the top of each hour when the Blue Crew faithful meet up for the Blue Crew Social, where fans gather around a horse shoe shaped bar for a shot of a unidentified blue-colored alcoholic beverage.

As you approach Lucas Oil Stadium from the north, its overall size is intimidating. A massive brick front is accented by steel-framed windows providing a warm natural light that really opens up the interior. Like most of the newer constructions around the league, Lucas Oil Stadium has the wide concourses, ample restrooms, quality concessions, and the common area bars that people can gather in throughout the game if their seats become too confining. The stadium also has a retractable roof for use during the warmer months of the year for a more comfortable natural breeze.

What struck me as most impressive about the Lucas Oil Stadium gametime experience was the crowd. The 12th man at Lucas Oil Stadium is easily top three in the league. Like many others throughout the NFL, they’re a loud, raucous crowd that supports their defense each time they take the field, supplying a wall of disruptive noise to force mistakes and confusion by opposing offenses. But what sets this crowd apart from the rest of the National Football League is the respect that’s paid to All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning. Each time the Indianapolis Colts offense takes the field, the crowd silences allowing Manning and the Colts offense to work in an eerie noiseless environment … and I mean complete quiet. I could actually hear a camera shutter going off as a woman in the section over took photos.  she had to be forty feet away!  It’s as if the entire crowd takes a breath when the Colts approach the line of scrimmage. I really didn’t even feel comfortable talking to the guy next to me while Manning was under center, and I was in the last row of Section 613!   People seriously spoke in hushed tones during Colts offensive possessions, but as soon as the ball was snapped it was a completely different story, as this crowd springs to life with each exceptional play.

The game itself was incredible. After losing the first six games of the season, the red hot Tennessee Titans, under Vince Young, were bringing a six game win streak to Indianapolis in their attempt to claw back into the playoff picture. It could either have been a trap game for the Colts or an opportunity to drive a significant dagger into the heart of the Titan’s playoff chances for 2009. These Colts responded as any championship-caliber team would. They played within their strengths, scored early, and then with a comfortable lead, directed methodical, time consuming drives that ended by posting points on the board. The Colts unbeaten machine stayed on track and my sting of home team losses on the Quest for 31 finally came to an end. Special thanks to Randy Collins and Greg Woods for their invitation to link up with the Blue Crew this weekend; and extra special thanks to the members of the Blue Crew for their overwhelming warmth and hospitality. Go Colts!!!


For more information on the city of Indianapolis, IN check out my other reviews by clicking on the links below:
     NFL: December 2, 2007 - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
     
NFL: July 9, 2010 - Lucas Oil Stadium Tour
     
NBA: Indiana Pacers, Conseco Fieldhouse
 

City of Indianapolis Local Information  
Top Tourist Attractions:
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
NCAA Hall of Champions

Local Foods:
Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

What They're Drinkin':


Tailgating Hotspots:
Blue Crew Parking Lot
American Family Fan Zone (SE corner of the Stadium)

Local Sports Media:
The Indianapolis Star
1070AM The Fan - Listen LIVE!

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Indianapolis
Stadium Policy
Stadium Parking Map
Popular Bars / Bar Districts:
Blue Crew Sports Grill - The Ultimate Indianapolis Colts Bar
Wholesale District (Nicky Blaine's, Scotty's Brewhouse)
Broad Ripple Area (Average Joe's, Brother's Bar & Grill, Chumley's Beer
     House
, The Red Room, Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Brugge Brasserie, The
     Vogue
)
Stadium Area (Slippery Noodle Inn , The Ugly Monkey

Best Restaurants:
Slippery Noodle Inn
The Ratherskeller (Typically German Cuisine)
St. Elmo's Steakhouse

Getting to the Stadium:
Lucas Oil Stadium is situated in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, but  there is no metro rail or subway in the city, so unless you're walking over from your hotel the best way to get there is to drive you own car.

Where To Stay:
Find a hotel located in the downtown area.  Indy's downtown is rather compact and for the most part clean and safe, so almost all the
hotels are a short walk away.  You might try the Crowne Plaza, Hyatt, Westin or Marriott downtown.

 
Planning Your Next Trip to see the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium?
Traveling to all thirty-one stadiums around the National Football League, teaches you a thing or two about getting the most for your money.  I've set up this website to help others that are interested in NFL Travel.  Below you'll find links for cheap Indianapolis Colts tickets, arena seating charts, and local weather for everything you need to plan a successful trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.


Compare Prices for Indianapolis Colts Football Tickets Here:


Click on the following links for Indianapolis Colts ticket availability at each of the top online ticket brokers on the web.  Try each link to find the cheapest NFL ticket prices:
 
TicketCity.com
StubHub.com
VividSeats.com
TicketNetwork
Razorgator.com
 

 

  

Click for Forecast for 46225 from weatherUSA.net
   
Preparations Underway   Quest Machine in Town   Mike, Afro Dave, and Me (Lovin the Zoobas)
         
   
Myself, Greg, and Brad   Representatives of the Blue Crew   Myself, Mike and Teresa who were great hosts
         
   
The Horseshoe shaped mobile bar   Hangin' at the Fanbulance   Pete, Andrew, Stewart, and Myself
         
   
Da Big Blue Pimp (I named him myself_   Mike, Big Mike, T, and Me   Finally and chance to meet Nate!
         
   
Captain Colt and Laurie   T-Bone and Uncle Dan   Mike and I in the Tailgate Resuscitation Unit
         
   
Matt and Marcy's TRU   Finally a visit to the Luke   Lucas Oil Stadium - Stadium 17 revisited
         
     
COMMENTS?
Please feel free to post any suggestions or comments you might have for my journey to Lucas Oil Stadium, including the following:
 
             
 - Local Hotspots (Bar Districts, Restaurants, Clubs)
               - Local Foods (Traditional Cuisine, Micro Brews)
               - Tailgating Traditions
               - Your Experiences or Helpful Hints

               - If you saw me let me know!
 
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Big Mike's Wife from Indianapolis, IN
Sent: Tue, December 8, 2009 10:45 am
  Thank you for coming to visit us, we really enjoyed getting to met you and your crew. Your article was awesome!  Hope you get a chance to come and visit us again.
Luci

Thanks Luci, I really enjoyed hanging with the Blue Crew on Sunday and certainly intend on making another visit to Lucas Oil Stadium in the near future.  Good Luck to your Colts in the Playoffs!
 
     

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