Lucas Oil Stadium Free Tours
Topic: Local Attractions
The western facade of Indy's new Lucas Oil Stadium.
Saturday there were the first tours of the new Colts' stadium for those of the citizenry who were not well-heeled enough to afford either to attend the $250 admission opening Gala the night before, or season tickets which got you into a more intimate tour the following day.
As you can imagine, that left a lot of us to take those free Saturday tours.
This was the line to ride up -then immediately back down- the one open escalator to the upper deck
Although I had scored a bunch of tickets, in the end only a small band of intrepid friends decided to brave the hordes of GenCon-ers, free tour-takers, and baseball game-watchers all descended on our unassuming downtown. Thankfully we decided to just take my Ooeypooey permit and park on campus and walk across town, as once we were on foot, we saw that gridlock was the word of the day.
Once we got in (after spending 15 minutes queued at a gate they didn't open, then another 15 pushing our way to the front of the proper queue) we set out to purchase a beer from the oft-promised concession stands that would be open.
Much to our disappointment, while there were indeed stands open, they were not sellining beer to the hoi polloi who took the free tour. They gave it away to the big-wigs, or let season ticket holders buy beer, but apparently us schlubs couldn't be trusted to not get wasted and trash the place on the day it opened, LOL!
NO BEER FOR YOU!
As far as the stadium itself, it was pretty cool. If you've ever been in Conseco Fieldhouse, imagine that, but for football. Aesthetically, they are very similar, IMHO.
When entering from the northern "front" gate, you can see an open view of the entire stadium.
So yeah, "old school fieldhouse" is the major motif, with smaller themes of "if it doesn't move, put a sign or something on it" and "will an ad fit here?" Corporate partnership is a big part of the decor, and frequently the concourse will be head-to-toe in the livery of appliance stores, banks, law firms, and other big-money spenders. There are lots of "Lucas Oil" branded race cars all over the place, for instance, and again like Conseco the concession stands seem to be going for that "carny barker" vibe with unique color pallets and liberal use of special lighting.
The main window looks towards downtown, a nice touch.
Since we didn't get any beer at the stadium, when we were spat out of the tour at the south gate, Mo realized we were near Spencer's Stadium Tavern and we should just continue our walk a little further to go get a beer. When we got there because the band was only about an hour and a half from starting they tried to extort a cover charge from us. Bastards! We promised to quickly drink one beer and be on our merry way, but Jason was convinced the waitress just overcharged us for our bottles of Two-Hearted to make up for it. Walking back up West to the car we passed another bar, Basey's Downtown Grill & Spirits, so we stopped in for another pint-thankfully this place at least had 312 on draught. Seemingly a regular ol' neighborhood bar, this place hit the jackpot with the new stadium being built across from it's back parking lot. Moving on we decided to extend our impromptu pub crawl with a final trip to The Bourbon Street Distillery, which despite it being the unofficial bar of Indy's IU Law campus, I never had been to before. They didn't quite have the beer selection I would've expected, and the spinach dip was kinda watery, but we were treated to a lovely strip tease by some random girl on the third floor of the Canal Court Apartments across the street, which made for a very happy balcony. Authentic New Orleans Experience indeed.
But I must say, despite the great time, it would've been *much* more fun had my, and my buddy Jeh's, significant others been able to attend. Women who mind the kid (or kid to be) while the men go goof off, I salute you!
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