Notes From a Browns Fan's Trip To Indianapolis for Browns/Colts

Being a Senior Writer for Chat Sports, I am afforded opportunities to follow the Browns as they travel across the country in order to sharpen my observations.  They don’t pay for anything, but I do get to write about it on the site. 

Here are some notes from a Cleveland Browns fan in Indy:

Tailgating:  While we didn’t get to look around much, I was impressed that Colts fans were out early and I saw several Colts Buses/RV.  Nothing in the same league as what you would see in the Muni-Lot, but better than most of the other cities I have been to (Baltimore, Jacksonville, Nashville) where tailgating was an activity but not an event.

We parked in a smaller lot not far from the stadium that had many Browns fans mixed in with Colts fans.  There were no reports of fan on fan violence.

Stadium:  Lucas Oil Field is massive from the outside, as it stands tall on the outskirts of downtown Indianapolis.  As impressive as its overall size is, it is absolutely as impressive on the inside.  It’s definitely the best NFL stadium I have ever been to by a long shot (out of 9).

We didn’t get to see the dome open, but they did have the retractable windows open on the end that faces downtown, and they are much larger than they appear on pictures and on TV.  The helicopter hover/fly-by was one of the best pre-game shows I’ve ever seen at a game and it makes good use of the open windows.

The amenities were extremely well thought out all around.   The bathrooms were perfectly spaced out, nd I didn’t have to wait in line for even a second.  Kudos to whomever designed the place and decided to have probably double the number of bathrooms that Cleveland Browns Stadium has.  Another thing I like was the amount of smaller beer and concession stands that were peppered all along the concourse as it really cut down the lines.

Our seats in the upper corner gave us a great view, but the nosebleeds one section above ours (the 600 level) would have been extremely high up, even for a domed stadium.  Ticket prices are extremely high as well. 

Despite those complaints, the stadium will be a great venue for the Super Bowl.  If the national media doesn’t complain too much about being in a cold weather city I don’t see why Indianapolis wouldn’t get a repeat chance of hosting as the place is a gem of a football palace.

Fans:  I have to think that the high price of tickets have changed the demographics of the fans in attendance at Colts games.  While everyone was decked out in Colts gear, and supported the team despite not having Peyton Manning, there seemed to be a lack of passion and energy that I have seen elsewhere.  The fans were into the game, but it just didn’t seem like there were many diehards.  Again, they could have just been deflated by the fact that Manning was out, but the Browns have essentially be terrible for 12 years and the fans still show and live and die with the team.

That being said, they were incredibly gracious hosts.  This was the 9th away stadium that I have been to, and these fans were by far the nicest to fans of the visiting team.   The whole day we really received no trash talking of any sort, and there were no fans that made us feel uncomfortable.  They did make me feel slightly embarrassed by the way Browns fans treat opposing fans in Cleveland Browns Stadium. 

Summary:  Given that it’s only about a 5 hour drive, the city has plenty to offer, the stadium is world class, and the fans make you feel welcome, going to Indy for a Browns game should be a no-brainer for Browns fans looking to make a weekend getaway to see the team on the road.

I won’t put it ahead of New Orleans on my list of favorite Browns road trips, but it’s a close second which says a lot about the game day experience in Indianapolis.

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