Sports in Indianapolis

Indianapolis is the home to 10 professional sports teams. The city is also the home to two National Collegiate Athletic Association collegiate teams. Two teams from the four major American sports, the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers, are located in Indianapolis.

The headquarters of the NCAA, the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is located in Indianapolis, as well as the National Federation of State High School Associations.

A number of minor league-level teams also play in the city. The Indiana Fever Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) started play in 2000, and are under the same ownership as the Pacers NBA team. The Indianapolis Indians are the second oldest minor league baseball team, having played in the city since 1902, and are currently members of the Triple-A International League The Indiana Ice ice hockey team began play in the United States Hockey League (USHL) in 2004. The Indianapolis AlleyCats were formed in 2012 as one of the founding teams of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). On April 12, 2014, the Indy Eleven soccer team played their inaugural game as members of the North American Soccer League (NASL).

Main entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, formerly known as Conseco Fieldhouse.

Professional teams in Indianapolis

Club League Sport Venue Founded Championships
Indianapolis Colts NFL Football Lucas Oil Stadium 1953 2 Super Bowl wins;
3 NFL Championships
Indiana Pacers NBA Basketball Bankers Life Fieldhouse 1967 3 ABA Championships;
0 NBA Championships
Indiana Fever WNBA Basketball Bankers Life Fieldhouse 2000 1 WNBA Championship
Indianapolis Indians International (Triple-A) Baseball Victory Field 1902 2 International League;
12 American Association
Indy Eleven NASL (Div. 2) Soccer IU Michael A. Carroll Stadium 2013
F.C. Indiana WPSL Elite Soccer IU Michael A. Carroll Stadium 2000 2 WPSL Championships;
2 U.S. Open Cups
Indianapolis Impalas USA Rugby Rugby Old Central State Hospital 1980 Unknown
Indy Fuel ECHL (Div. 3) Hockey Indiana Farmers Coliseum 2014 0

Indianapolis Colts (NFL)

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football based in Indianapolis. The team is part of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Colts have won five NFL Championships, including two Super Bowl titles. The Colts relocated from Baltimore in 1984, and began their stay in Indianapolis winning 90 of 228 games through the 1997 season, including 5 playoff games. Since Jim Irsay assumed control of the franchise in 1998 after the death of his father Robert Irsay, the team has become the first in league history to win 12 games or more in five consecutive seasons (2003–2007).[1] After their first playoff berth in Indianapolis in 1987, they missed the playoffs 7 consecutive years. In 1995 the Colts made it to their 1st AFC Championship Game since relocating but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a last second play. In 1998 GM Bill Polian drafted Peyton Manning out of Tennessee helping to turn the franchise around. Since drafting Manning the Colts have made the playoffs in 10 of 12 years and won Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears in 2006, 29-17. Lucas Oil Stadium opened before the 2008 season, replacing the RCA Dome, as the new home of the Colts.

Indiana Pacers (NBA)

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Pacers & Fever

The Indiana Pacers are a professional basketball team based in Indianapolis. The team is part of Central Division in National Basketball Association (NBA). The Pacers began play in the ABA in 1967 and won 3 ABA Championships. In 1976 the Pacers received an invitation to join the National Basketball Association. In the 1987 NBA Draft the Pacers selected Reggie Miller out of UCLA. Miller helped the team to make the playoffs 14 out of 17 seasons. To start the 1998–99 NBA season they opened their new arena, Conseco Fieldhouse, after playing at Market Square Arena for 25 years. The Pacers reached their first and only NBA Finals in that same season but lost to the Lakers in 6 games. During the 2004–2005 season the Pacers–Pistons brawl took place in Detroit and the team has struggled with their off the court image with numerous incidents. Reggie Miller retired the same season. Since then the Pacers missed the playoffs in 2007, the first time since 1997 and for only the second time in 22 years.

Indiana Fever (WNBA)

The Indiana Fever are a professional women's basketball team based in Indianapolis. The team is part of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Fever were one of the 2000 expansion teams. The WNBA awarded Indianapolis a team with the opening of Conseco Fieldhouse. The Fever won their 1st game in Miami, against the Miami Sol, on national TV but finished the 2000 season in last place at 9-23 and received the 3rd overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft. In the draft the Fever selected Tennessee superstar Tamika Catchings, although she was forced to sit out the 2001 season with a knee injury. Catchings won the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year and has led the Fever in points, rebounds, assists, and steals each season since. They first made the playoffs in 2002 but lost to the New York Liberty in 3 games. Since 2005 the Fever have posted four 21+ win seasons and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals three times. They reached the WNBA Finals for the first time in 2009, losing to the Phoenix Mercury three games to two. The Fever reached the WNBA Finals for the second time in 2012, and the team defeated the Minnesota Lynx three games to one to win their first WNBA Title.

Indianapolis Indians

The Indianapolis Indians are a minor league baseball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team, which plays in the International League, is the AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Indians play at Victory Field, located in downtown Indianapolis.

Founded in 1902, the Indianapolis Indians are the second-oldest minor league franchise in professional sports, behind only the Rochester Red Wings.

Indy Eleven

Indy Eleven is a second-tier soccer team formed in 2013 and located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team competes in the North American Soccer League, and plays at IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium, located in Indianapolis.

The team kicked off its inaugural season in spring 2014, and are now in their second season.

College sports

Indianapolis has three universities that field teams for the NCAA, Butler University (Butler Bulldogs) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI Jaguars) for Div-1 and the University of Indianapolis for Div-2. Butler is a member of the Big East Conference and IUPUI is a member of The Summit League.

Auto racing

Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts one of the most famous and prestigious auto races, The Indianapolis 500. The "500" is the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event. IMS also hosts NASCAR's Brickyard 400 as well as Formula One and Cycle World Rolling Concourse.

Indianapolis is also the central base of many successful racing teams. These include Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, KV Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Racing.

Andretti Autosport IndyCar2004, 2005, 2007, 2012
Indy Lights
Pro Mazda Championship
Global RalleyCross Championship2015
Formula E Championship
Chip Ganassi Racing Champ Car1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
IndyCar2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
CFH RacingIndyCar
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports IndyCar
Indy Lights2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Events hosted

Indianapolis has hosted the Men's and Women's NCAA Final Fours, as well as other rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament, several times. Conseco Fieldhouse will host the Big Ten Men's Tournament for five straight years starting in 2008 after it won the Big Ten bid over Chicago and the United Center. Indianapolis has also hosted the Big Ten Women's Tournament every year except 2001 since it started in 1995.

Indianapolis hosted the Indianapolis Tennis Championships until 2009, which was part of the U.S. Open Series.

Indianapolis is well known for its ability to host large events. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts two major races every year, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400. Starting in 2008, the MotoGP Motorcycle series will host a weekend at the speedway for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Lucas Oil Stadium and the city of Indianapolis made a bid to host Super Bowl XLV in 2011 but lost to Dallas and Cowboys Stadium by only two NFL Owner votes.[2] However, the city made another bid to host Super Bowl XLVI and managed to beat out Houston, Texas and Phoenix for the rights to host the Super Bowl.[3]

Indianapolis hosted the National Sports Festival in 1982.

Indianapolis also hosted the Pan American Games in 1987. Over 4,000 athletes from 38 nations participated in 30 sports at these games.

Indianapolis hosted sixteen international basketball teams at the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

Amateur sports

Indianapolis teams

Ice Hockey

The Indiana Ice plays in the United States Hockey League, an amateur junior ice hockey league for players aged 20 and younger. They played the majority of their home games at the Fairgrounds Coliseum, located in the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, before going dormant after the 2013-14 season. Some of its home games were also played at Conseco Fieldhouse. The President of the Ice is Paul Skjodt. The Ice filled a hockey void left by the Indianapolis Ice franchise that existed from 1988 to 2004 when they relocated to Topeka.


Cricket is a street-level sport among the South Asian communities that live in Indianapolis. Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard identified the international appeal of cricket after his trip to South Africa, where he watched an Indian Premier League game that had been relocated to South Africa due to terrorist tensions in India during 2009 season. He initiated construction of the Indianapolis World Sports Park and its cricket stadium to make the city a global venue for cricket games. Cricket is a popular sport among Indian and South Asian communities and Ballard said that the city has a large enough South Asian community to start a cricket village. The plans for the stadium were started in 2009. Indianapolis has one club, Cricket Club of Indianapolis, that is registered with USACA. Multiple local amateur teams play with tennis balls in central Indiana, including ones in Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, West Lafayette, and also downtown at the IUPUI campus. Indiana (Youth) cricket (INYCA) with USYCA FREE cricket equipment and education program is expanding youth and school cricket in Indiana schools and colleges. Jatin Patel of USYCA and founder of the USA Center for Excellence in Cricket introduced the nation's first cricket coaching certification program for physical education teachers in Indiana schools during 2012. INYCA is targeting a future inter-school cricket tournament.[4][5] The Indianapolis World Sports Park cricket ground is the home of the ICC Americas Cricket Combine – team to play in the WICB's Nagico Super50 and 2015 ICC Americas Twenty20 Division One.


Hurling is a summer sport played among Irish communities in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association, formerly Indy Hurling Club, has been playing hurling in Indianapolis since 2002, and began competing on a national level in 2007.[6] Indy GAA plays a summer co-ed hurling league, but also fields a team to compete in Gaelic Football and Camogie (female hurling) at the NACB Championships every Labor Day weekend. Indy GAA has several national championships, and is sponsored by local businesses around the city.

Little League Baseball and Softball

Little League, founded in 1939 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, opened its Central Region Headquarters in Indianapolis in 1989. Since 2011, the Little League Central Region Headquarters has hosted tournaments for the 11-12 age group to determine the Central Region representatives for the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport and the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon. The Reuben F. Glick Little League Center is located on 9802 E. Little League Drive in Indianapolis and provides operation support to the 13 states located within the Central Region.[7]

Defunct teams

See also


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