There are few traditions in sports that can compare to Indiana basketball, no matter at what level the game is played. The Indiana Hoosiers have won five NCAA Championships (third of all time), made seven trips to the Final Four (seventh of all time), made 30 NCAA Tournament appearances, and won 51 NCAA Tournament victories.
The Indiana Hoosiers play their home games in Assembly Hall, a 17,472-seat arena located on the campus in Bloomington. It was constructed between 1968 and 1971 and replaced the Gladstone Fieldhouse, which had hosted basketball games between 1960 and 1971, and is still used by Indiana University for indoor track-and-field events.
To improve the viewing experience, Assemby Hall's design called for most of the seats to be located along the sides of the basketball court, with only 20 rows of bleachers behind the baskets. This resulted in very steep-sloped sides, which concentrates noise and contributes to the arena's reputation as one of the loudest venues in college basketball.
In addition to hosting basketball games, Assembly Hall is also used for concerts, speakers, and other large-scale campus events.
The Hall of Fame Museum
The Hall of Fame Museum is an automotive museum located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The focus of the museum's exhibits is on the Indianapolis 500, but it also includes displays of other forms of motorsports, passenger cars, and general automotive history.
The current museum is the second to be located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The first museum opened in 1956 and contained only six cars. Over the next few years, many additional cars were acquired and donated, and the museum soon ran out of enough space to house its collection. Construction on a new museum therefore began in 1975, and was completed in 1976. The new building is two stories tall and has 96,000 square feet (8,919 square meters) of space which includes the museum, a gift shop, and a photography department.
The Hall of Fame Museum's collection includes more than 75 racing cars, 30 of which are Indianapolis 500 winners. The rest are from other internationally renowned motorsports events. Only a small portion of the museum's cars can be displayed at any one time due to space constraints. The car displays are therefore rotated on a periodic basis. Some cars are displayed in the invitation-only basement, and others are stored in off-site facilities.
Other artifacts in the museum's collections include engines, trophies, plaques, racing helmets, gloves, drivers' suits, and other racing memorabilia. On display are also large collections of models, toys, and paintings. And the museum's photography department archives about 4,000,000 images.
The Tony Hulman Theatre features a short film about the history of the Indianapolis 500, and the Indianapolis 500 Picture Wall displays portraits of all the winning drivers and winning cars.
While not as popular as basketball, Indiana Hoosier football games can still draw large, enthusiastic crowds. The 52,929-seat Memorial Stadium, located on the campus of Indiana University, is consistently sold out.
Memorial Stadium was constructed between 1958 and 1960. It replaced the original 20,000-seat Memorial Stadium that had been constructed in 1925. Since it was built, the stadium has undergone extensive renovations and expansions in 1969 and 2009.
In 2005, late coach Terry Hoeppner had a large limestone boulder, nicknamed "The Rock," installed in the north end zone. It has since been a tradition for the Hoosiers to run out onto the field and touch "The Rock" for luck prior to every home game.
Despite the enthusiastic support of the fans, the Hoosiers have not been a particularly successful college football team. Since 1967, they have made nine bowl appearances, including the 1967 Rose Bowl, the 1979 Holiday Bowl, the 1986 All-American Bowl, the 1988 Liberty Bowl, the 1990 Peach Bowl, the 1991 Copper Bowl, the 1993 Independence Bowl, and the 2006 Insight Bowl. The Hoosiers lost six of those nine bowl games.
Lucas Oil Stadium
Home of the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts, state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium opened in 2008 to replace the antiquated RCA Dome. The 1,800,000-square-foot (167,225-square-meter), seven-level stadium has a seating capacity of 63,000 (5,000 more than in the old RCA Dome) which can be expanded to 70,000 for basketball games and other events. The north and south ends of the stadium contain massive windows which are 88 feet (27 meters) tall and 244 feet (74 meters) wide. The north window affords a view of downtown Indianapolis. Other features include a fully retractible roof which can be opened and closed in nine minutes, two enormous high-definition scoreboards that are 97 feet (30 meters) wide and 53 feet (16 meters) tall, and an Indianapolis Colts Pro Shop.
Since opening, Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted many different types of events such as the 2011 Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four basketball tournaments, motorsports shows, rodeos, rock concerts, trade shows, and conventions.
Kayaking Eagle Creek Reservoir
I had been kayaking in New England and just got back from kayaking in Newfoundland, so, I did not expect much from Eagle Creek Reservoir in central Indiana. But, I must say that I was taken a bit by surprise. My brother and I went out one evening for a paddle and we saw a lot of water foul and some great scenery. Now granted, it wasn't anything like the Minke Whale that I saw in Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, but the kayaking was nice and peaceful all the same.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Located in the City of Speedway in the northwestern suburbs of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was originally built as a test facility for the burgeoning automobile industry in Indianapolis. Situated on 559 (226 hectares) of land and with a permanent seating capacity of 257,000 and an infield seating capacity of 400,000, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest and highest-capacity sports facility in the world.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was incorporated in 1909, making it the first incorporated racing facility in the world. Construction started on the speedway that same year, and it was completed in 1910. Its founder, Carl Graham Fisher, was an Indiana entrepreneur who earned his fortune in the highway-construction and vehicle-parts industries.
The rectangular-oval racetrack is two and a half miles (four kilometers) around. It was originally paved with 3,200,000 bricks, giving rise to its nickname of the "Brickyard." A three-foot (one-meter) section of bricks has been preserved at the finish line.
Since 1911, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has hosted one of the most famous and prestigious races in the world, the Indianapolis 500. The race is held on Memorial Day weekend in May, and draws hundreds of thousands of spectators. Another annual race hosted at the racetrack is the Brickyard 400, held in July. The racetrack also hosts the Indianapolis Motorcycle Grand Prix, and hosted the United States Grand Prix between 2000 and 2007.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark, the only racing facility in the country with such designations.
The NCAA Hall of Champions
The hall of fame museum for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the NCAA Hall of Champions was designed to be a tribute to student athletes of the past and present, and to create an appreciation for the struggles of the student athlete.
The main attraction on the spacious first floor is the Final Four Theater. Seating in the round room consists of bleachers covered with basketball leather. Twenty-six television monitors feature highlights of men's and women's trips to the Final Four college basketball tournament.
The majority of the second floor showcases all of the 22 sports of the NCAA through pictures, diagrams, and colorful boards that list the history and rules of each sport.
An exhibit entitled Safeguarding the Spirit tells the history of the NCAA, and gives visitors the opportunity to relive famous moments, including sports plays, schools' theme songs, and cheers.
Home of the Indianapolis Indians, a Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, Victory Field has been rated the "Best Minor League Ballpark in America" by such publications as Baseball America and Sports Illustrated.
In addition to exciting minor league baseball, Victory Field also hosts the annual City, County, and High School State Baseball Championships.
Recently opened in July 1996, Victory Field offers 12,500 permanent seats, 1,000 bleacher seats, and room for 2,000 fans on the lawn.
Home of the National Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers, and the Arena Football League's Indiana Firebirds, Conseco Fieldhouse opened in November 1999 to provide a modern, state-of-the-art facility for two of Indianapolis' most popular sports teams.
The 14-story, 750,000-square-foot (69,680-square-meter) arena seats 18,345. Its most unique architectural feature includes the two huge glass walls on the east and west ends of the building. When illuminated from within, Conseco Fieldhouse forms an impressive part of the Indianapolis skyline.
Canoe, Hike, or Tube at Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park is a great place for the outdoorsy type. There are great picnic facilities and you can rent a canoe for a short or long trip. Or if you want to relax, you can rent an intertube and just float down the river. Or you can hike the day away!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Go Hiking at Bear Wallow
Bear Wallow is an area in Brown County that offers an array of hiking for all abilities and ages. It is a nice place to take the kids. It is named, because many years ago bears used to inhabit that part of Indiana and would come down to the wallow to cool their bodies in the summer. Bears no longer inhabit that part of Indiana and the wallow was drained in 1913, but nature lovers still come to enjoy a nice hike in the summer.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Check Out Conseco FieldHouse
Check out this amazing and modern facility. This is the home of the Indiana Pacers and a place to catch big name concerts and performances. This is the finest arena in the NBA (although I am sure some other city will build a better one soon) .
Get some Exercise on the Monon Trail
You can bike, walk, run, or rollerblade on this spectacular trail that is 20 miles long. The trail runs from downtown past the art museum, through trendy Broadripple, and up into posh Carmel. I prefer the section of the trail from Broadripple up into Carmel, because it is shaded with trees and you can sometimes see wildlife scamper across your way.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Bike through Scenic Eagle Creek State Park
Eagle Creek State Park is one of the best in Indiana. Cyclists flock to this scenic park to bike along the road that runs through it. Come here and spot all kinds of Indiana wildlife. Chipmunks, deer, squirrels, birds, and much more can be seen here. Their is a decent sized playground area for kids. Also, in the summer Eagle Creek opens up its swimming center, which has waterslides and fun things to do for kids. This park is the world's largest municipally owned park! Their are tons of hiking trails (bikes are not welcome on the trails). This park is in Indy and is only a 15 minute drive from the bustling city so it is easily accessible.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Spend a day at McCormicks Creek State Park
Hiking at McCormicks Creek State Park is fun for both children and adults. If you choose you can camp there. Their are many scenic trails and their is even a waterfall that you can climb up or swim under. It is a great park to visit in the fall when the leaves are changing colors.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
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