10 Ways to Celebrate March Madness in Indianapolis

For the first time in basketball history, the entire NCAA March Madness tournament will be hosted in one place. Here are 10 ways to celebrate, even if you won’t be attending a game.

From Thursday, March 18 to Monday, April 5, Indiana will be hosting the NCAA's March Madness men's basketball tournament. Most of the 67 games will be played in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium and other sites—a pandemic adjustment intended to reduce travel and potential virus exposure for teams and their supporters.

Fan capacity is capped at 25 percent for each venue. But even if you can't score a ticket, there are plenty of ways to mark the occasion if you make a road trip to Indy.

Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis
Lucas Oil Stadium. Courtesy of Visit Indy

Light Show A synchronized audio, video and light presentation will pay tribute to basketball by telling the story of growing up with the game. Shining a Light—Indiana's Game: A Ball, a Basket and a Dream takes place three times nightly on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis (through April 5). Visitors can view the show from the south steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Special Tours Local historian Sampson Levingston is leading basketball history tours featuring key places in Indy's basketball past including Crispus Attucks High School, the NCAA Headquarters and the former Tomlinson Hall at City Market, the site of Indy's first Final Four.

Themed Brew Indy's Sun King Brewery is releasing a basketball-themed beer titled "Hoops There It Is," a wheat ale with peach. In their Instagram post announcing the beer, the brewery said: "Fun fact: It's been said that the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, used peach baskets for the very first basketball goal."

New Art 300 central Indiana-based artists have been commissioned by the Arts Council of Indianapolis to enliven downtown Indy with new outdoor art and music experiences.

Giant Bracket The NCAA kicked off the month of March in Indy by debuting a 17-story tall bracket decal on the side of the JW Marriott downtown. The 47,000 square-foot bracket is the largest ever built (about the size of 10 basketball courts).

JW Marriott March Madness
JW Marriott Indy. Courtesy of Visit Indy

NCAA Hall of Champions Indy is home to the NCAA Headquarters alongside the Hall of Champions. Two levels of exhibits let you test your athletic abilities as well as your knowledge of all 24 NCAA sports.

Sports Legends Experience at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis The world's largest children's museum has added a $38.5 million sports-theme expansion with experiences like a basketball practice area, mini Colts football field and Indy 500 pedal cars.

Crispus Attucks Museum Inside Crispus Attucks High School, the museum recounts the time when the 1955 Crispus Attucks High School basketball team, led by Oscar Robertson, became the first all-black team in the nation to win a state high school basketball title.

Instagram Sports Spots Check out the Reggie Miller mural downtown or pose with the Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

Plump's Last Shot This dive bar in Broad Ripple is named for owner Bobby Plump, the man who made "the shot heard around the world" and inspired ESPN's Hoosiers. Check out basketball memorabilia on the walls and savor a classic Hoosier pork tenderloin sandwich.

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