Amateur Sports Capital Although Indianapolis is most often associated with professional sports-car driving, it's fast becoming the Amateur Sports Capital of the World. The Indiana Sports Corporation (ISC) was formed in 1979 to promote the city as a national and international sporting venue. Since then, Indianapolis has hosted more than 400 high-profile events and now serves as the headquarters for more than a dozen governing bodies, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the American College of Sports Medicine, the Black Coaches Association and the National Institute for Fitness & Sport.
As the base for five USA sports federations—track and field, gymnastics, diving, synchronized swimming and rowing—Indianapolis plays a vital role in American amateur athletics. Olympic trials and national championships here have included diving, gymnastics, judo, kayaking, rowing, swimming, table tennis, track and field and volleyball.
The city boasts a roster of state-of-the-art facilities, from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and Victory Field to the Indiana University Natatorium, Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium and Major Taylor Velodrome. When amateur athletes aren't competing, five professional teams take the spotlight: the NFL Colts, the NBA Pacers, the WNBA Fever, the CHL Ice and the AAA Indians (minor-league affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates).
The NCAA's move to Indianapolis in 1999—and construction of the NCAA Hall of Champions in White River State Park—was a three-pointer for the city's sports economy. Each year, NCAA events generate an estimated $64 million in revenue.
In 1987, the Pan American Games brought nearly 4,500 athletes from 38 countries to Indianapolis. To commemorate the most important sporting event in its history, the city built the Pan American Plaza on Capitol Avenue. This sports powerhouse now holds the offices of the ISC, the national headquarters of four USA sports governing bodies and the Indiana/World Skating Academy, a training center for amateur and professional athletes in figure skating, hockey and speed skating.
With so many world-class facilities in walking distance, sportscaster Bob Costas called Indianapolis “one of the best sports downtowns anywhere in America.” For schedules and tickets, contact the ISC at (317) 237-5000 or (800) 443-4837.
In-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. All hotels must meet the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality to be AAA Approved. A rating of one to five AAA Diamonds tells members what type of experience to expect, from no-frills to highly personalized.
Indiana's statewide sales tax is 7 percent. Counties may impose a 1 to 2 percent food and beverage tax. Restaurant tax is 9 percent, lodgings tax is 3 to 10 percent and rental car tax is 6 percent.
Time and Temperature
Indiana University Hospital, (800) 248-1199; St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, (317) 338-2345; and Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital, (317) 880-0000.
200 S. Capitol Ave., Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46225. Phone:(317)262-3000 or (800)323-4639
The city is served by
Hertz, (317) 243-9321 or (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members.
Passenger train service is available through Amtrak, which departs from Union Station, 350 S. Illinois St. For details phone (800) 872-7245.
Greyhound Lines Inc. bus connections can be made at 350 S. Illinois St.; phone (317) 267-3074 or (800) 231-2222.
The major cab company is Yellow Cab, (317) 487-7777. The average fare is $3 per pickup and $2 per mile.
IndyGo operates 29 city bus routes serving downtown and most of Marion County. The fare is $1.75; 85c (ages 0-18 and 65+). A day pass is $4; $2 (ages 0-18 and 65+). Multiday and multi-trip passes also are available.