500 S. Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis Indiana 46225United States
Midwest Living Recommends
Opened in 2008, the home of the NFL's Colts seats 70,000 fans in a beautiful brick stadium with a stunning glass roof that can retract in nine minutes.
The downtown Indianapolis stadium is primed and ready to host the 2012 Super Bowl, and this sports town is buzzing with excitement. Some of Indy's most recognized landmarks, including the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, are under renovation in anticipation of the event that'll bring 150,000 fans to town (and another 750 million TV viewers). By summer of 2011, Georgia Avenue had closed to through traffic so that the city can create the Super Bowl Experience, a place for fans who can't snag game tickets to watch on jumbo TV screen. Nearby, Indy also will create the NFL Experience, a weeklong family-friendly zone that'll have games, activities and player autograph sessions. And for months, Colts fans have been knitting Super Bowl scarves--in the team's signature blue and white, of course--for the legion of volunteers that will staff the big game (set for February 5 or 12, depending on how the season goes). Indy is used to hosting big sporting events; the Indy 500 draws 300,000 fans a year. But this event is different; most of the game's attendees snag the pricey tickets through corporate connections, and the media scrutiny is high. Just ask Christina Aguilera after last year's National Anthem flub and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones after hundreds of ticket holders arrived at the 2011 Super Bowl only to find they had no corresponding seats. Indianapolis has spent more than $3 billion on tourism to get prepare for this event, and Indy tourism officials already are working with hotel concierges (all of the downtown hotels sold out when Indy was named host) to ensure the roster of good restaurant recommendations goes well beyond the storied St. Elmo Steakhouse downtown. Hopes are high that the $720 million Lucas Oil Field will hold up as beautifully under the pressure as it has on any given Sunday since 2008.