Sports in Indiana

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The state of Indiana is home to a number of professional and college sports teams, as well as prominent auto racing.

Professional sports teams[edit]

As of 2013 Indiana has produced more National Basketball Association (NBA) players per capita than any other state. Muncie has produced the most per capita of any American city, with two other Indiana cities in the top ten.[1] It has a rich basketball heritage that reaches back to the formative years of the sport itself. The Indiana Pacers of the NBA play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; they began play in 1967 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and joined the NBA when the leagues merged in 1976. Although James Naismith developed basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, Indiana is where high school basketball was born. In 1925, Naismith visited an Indiana basketball state finals game along with 15,000 screaming fans and later wrote "Basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport." The 1986 film Hoosiers is inspired by the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions Milan High School. Professional basketball player Larry Bird was born in West Baden Springs and was raised in French Lick. He went on to lead the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship in 1981, 1984, and 1986.[2]

Indianapolis is home to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference. The Colts have roots back to 1913 as the Dayton Triangles. They became an official team after moving to Baltimore, MD, in 1953. In 1984, the Colts relocated to Indianapolis, leading to an eventual rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens. After calling the RCA Dome home for 25 years, the Colts currently play their home games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. While in Baltimore, the Colts won the 1970 Super Bowl. In Indianapolis, the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, bringing the franchise total to two. In recent years the Colts have regularly competed in the NFL playoffs.

List of current professional and amateur teams[edit]

Club Sport Established League
Evansville Enforcers Football 2011 Minor League Football Alliance
Evansville Otters Baseball 1995 Frontier League
Evansville Thunderbolts Ice hockey 2016 Southern Professional Hockey League
Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts Junior ice hockey 2015 North American 3 Hockey League
FC Indiana Soccer 2003 Women's Premier Soccer League
Fort Wayne Komets Ice hockey 1952 ECHL
Fort Wayne Mad Ants Basketball 2007 NBA Development League
Fort Wayne TinCaps Baseball 1993 Midwest League
Gary SouthShore RailCats Baseball 2002 American Association
Indiana Fever Basketball 2000 Women's National Basketball Association
Indiana Ice* Junior ice hockey 2004 United States Hockey League
Indiana Pacers Basketball 1967 National Basketball Association
Indianapolis Colts Football 1984 National Football League
Indianapolis Indians Baseball 1902 International League
Indy Eleven Soccer 2014 North American Soccer League
Indy Fuel Ice hockey 2014 ECHL
South Bend Cubs Baseball 1988 Midwest League

*Denotes a club that is on hiatus

List of former professional and amateur teams[edit]

Club Sport Years League
Chi-Town Shooters Ice hockey 2008–11 All American Hockey League
Elkhart Express Basketball 2006–09 International Basketball League
Evansville Crush Indoor Soccer 2010–13 Premier Arena Soccer League
Evansville IceMen Ice hockey 2008–10 All American Hockey League
Evansville IceMen Ice hockey 2010–2016 ECHL
Evansville Kings Indoor Soccer 2013–14 Premier Arena Soccer League
Fort Wayne Fever Soccer 2003–09 USL Premier Development League
Gary Steelheads Basketball 2000–08 International Basketball League
Illiana Blackbirds Junior ice hockey 2012–16 MnJHL/USPHL
Indiana Blizzard Ice hockey 2010 All American Hockey League
Indiana Invaders Soccer 1998–2011 USL Premier Development League

College sports[edit]

Indiana has had great sports success at the collegiate level. NCAA Division I athletic programs in the state are:

Auto racing[edit]

Indiana has an extensive history with auto racing. Indianapolis hosts the Indianapolis 500 mile race over Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every May. The name of the race is usually shortened to "Indy 500" and also goes by the nickname "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The race attracts over 250,000 people every year making it the largest single day sporting event in the world. The track also hosts the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (NASCAR) and the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix (MotoGP). From 2000 to 2007, it hosted the United States Grand Prix (Formula One).

Indiana features the world's largest and most prestigious drag race, the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, held each Labor Day weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Clermont, Indiana.

Notable short ovals in Indiana include Anderson Speedway (Little 500), Indiana State Fairgrounds (USAC Silver Crown Hoosier Hundred), Salem Speedway (ARCA, USAC Silver Crown), Terre Haute Action Track (USAC Silver Crown, Hut Hundred, Hulman Classic), and Winchester Speedway (ARCA). The Indiana Sprint Week is held in July, and the Indiana Midget Week takes place in June.

Indiana is also host to two major unlimited hydroplane racing power boat race circuits in the major H1 Unlimited league: Thunder on the Ohio (Evansville, Indiana) and the Madison Regatta (Madison, Indiana).

Sports venues[edit]

Facility Seating Capacity City
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 257,325 Speedway
Notre Dame Stadium 80,795 South Bend
Lucas Oil Stadium 63,000 Indianapolis
Ross–Ade Stadium 62,500 West Lafayette
Memorial Stadium 52,929 Bloomington
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis 30,000 Brownsburg
Scheumann Stadium 25,400 Muncie
Bankers Life Fieldhouse 18,165 Indianapolis
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall 17,456 Bloomington
Mackey Arena 14,240 West Lafayette
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 13,000 Fort Wayne
Memorial Stadium 12,764 Terre Haute
Victory Field 12,496 Indianapolis
Michael Carroll Stadium 12,111 Indianapolis
John E. Worthen Arena 11,500 Muncie
Hulman Center 10,200 Terre Haute
Ford Center 10,000 Evansville
Edmund P. Joyce Center 9,800 South Bend
New Castle High School Field House 9,325 New Castle
Hinkle Fieldhouse 9,100 Indianapolis
Anderson Wigwam 8,996 Anderson
Parkview Field 8,100 Fort Wayne
Muncie Fieldhouse 7,635 Muncie
Indiana Farmers Coliseum 6,300 Indianapolis
U.S. Steel Yard 6,000 Gary
Indiana State College Arena 5,500 Terre Haute
Bosse Field 5,181 Evansville
Compton Family Ice Arena 5,022 South Bend
Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium 5,000 South Bend

List of Championships[edit]

Team League Total Season
Fort Wayne Mad Ants D-League 1 2013-14
Indiana Fever WNBA 1 2012
Indiana Pacers ABA 3 1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73
Indianapolis Colts NFL 1 2006
Evansville Otters Frontier League 2 2006, 2016

References[edit]

External links[edit]