Next month, tens of thousands of fans are expected to descend upon Indianapolis for the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Slated for April 4 and 6, the Final Four match ups will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, which also hosted the national championship in 2010. With more than 70,000 fans expected to attend both the semifinals and finals to determine the best college basketball team in the country, visitors may need a little guidance on how to get to the Hoosier State and Indianapolis, and what to expect at the Final Four.
Getting To Indianapolis
The city is served by several interstate highways, most prominently Interstate 465, the beltway that connects with I-65, I-69, I-70 and I-74, along with access to I-65 via I-865. Additional routes into the city include U.S. Highways 31, 36, 40, 52 and 421 and State Roads 37 and 67.
Indianapolis International Airport (IND) is located seven miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. Among the major carriers with service to IND are American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United. The airport provides a variety of ground transportation services, such as rental car agencies near the terminal, taxi service, IndyGo city bus and hotel courtesy vehicles. IndyGo's Route 8 provides public transportation service every half hour, seven days a week. Riders can transfer to additional bus routes in downtown near Monument Circle.
Related: How To Save Time At The Airport
Amtrak provides train service to Indianapolis on the Cardinal/Hoosier State line, connecting Chicago to New York. Frequency of service for the entire route is three days a week, although there is daily service between Chicago and Indianapolis. Amtrak also offers Thruway Bus service to Indianapolis from cities like Davenport, Iowa and Peoria, Illinois.
The Amtrak station in Indianapolis is conveniently located a quarter mile from Lucas Oil Stadium.
How To Get Tickets
Tickets to the 2015 Final Four went on sale to the general public last October. Remaining tickets can be purchased from multiple ticket sources, but only the best and most reliable are listed below. Due to a rash of counterfeit tickets at this year's Super Bowl, fans are strongly advised to avoid ticket scalpers at Lucas Oil Stadium, at Final Four public events or anywhere else in the city.
NCAA Ticket Exchange
The NCAA Ticket Exchange is the only guaranteed, NCAA-approved secondary ticket marketplace to buy and sell tickets for the semifinals and finals of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Several tickets were still available for both the semifinals and finals, along with VIP tickets and hospitality packages.
Ticketmaster, a subsidiary of Live Nation, is offering ticket packages and travel packages for "The Dance." Ticket packages are available for the semifinals, finals and all-sessions (two semifinals and final) with either a Fan Hospitality or VIP Hospitality option. Travel packages from Ticketmaster feature four night accommodations, game day transfers and VIP pregame hospitality.
Stub Hub offers single game tickets for both semifinals and the finals, in addition to parking passes. Earlier this month, tickets were only available by zone or by section and row at Lucas Oil Stadium and exact seat locations would not be available until the time of delivery or pickup. Stub Hub also advises customers to purchase by section and row because sellers may not have the tickets in their possession for zone listings.
What To Bring To Indianapolis
Because the extended forecast in Indianapolis during the Final Four calls for possible rain, visitors should plan accordingly. Average highs are in the high 50s and average lows in the high 30s, suggesting wearing a jacket or coat is necessary throughout the event. All out of town visitors should pack sensibly and leave unnecessary items at home. Regardless of the mode of travel, visitors should limit what they bring to one piece of luggage and a smaller bag, much like what is allowed on board commercial airlines.
NFL-Approved Bags (credit: Randy Yagi)
What Not To Bring To The Final Four
Fans going to any of the Final Four games must familiarize themselves with the 2015 Final Four Security Policies, which observes similar policies mandated by the NFL. Backpacks, camera bags, fanny packs and large purses are among the prohibited bags. Only five types of bags, such as the NFL-approved clear bags, are permitted for the 2015 NCAA Final Four basketball games. Other items, like cameras with a lens longer than four inches (detachable and non-detachable) and videocameras, are not allowed.
Final Four Events
Several Final Four events will be held throughout the weekend, and not all require a ticket for admission. For instance, Reese's Final Four Friday is free to the public and those in attendance will have an opportunity to watch the Final Four teams practice, in addition to the Reese's College All Star Game. Admission to the Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One will be held at the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, April 3 to 6, and admission is just $10. One other notable event to attend is the admission free NCAA March Madness Music Festival, a three day event with past performers like Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band and the Dave Matthews Band.
Lucas Oil Stadium
500 S. Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Lucas Oil Stadium features a retractable roof and is the home field of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. The state-of-the-art facility features many fan friendly amenities, including more than 160 concession stands, HD video boards and more than 1,000 flat screen TVs.
Fans have access to 14 escalators, 11 elevators and two accessible pedestrian ramps. Accessible seating is available throughout the stadium.
Lucas Oil Stadium has 139 luxury suites, including 12 super suites and eight field suites.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.
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