Indianapolis, Here We Come

After sailing the seemingly endless seas of the offseason for what has felt like an eternity, the shore where actual football will be played is finally within sight.

We are less than one month away from the Louisville football team kicking off its 2017 season against Purdue in Indianapolis, which means you’ve got less than a month to solidify your game plan for Labor Day Weekend. If you can’t make it to Nap Town, then you’ll be able to catch the nationally televised game at 7:30 p.m. on Fox. If you are planning on or hoping to make the trip, then we have all the answers to your questions in this week’s column.

Are tickets still available?

There are. Anyone who has been there before for a football or an NCAA Tournament game knows that Lucas Oil Stadium is gargantuan, which means you’re still going to be able to snag some tickets less than a month before the game. Plus, it’s a domed environment so there’s no concern about dealing with the hot and muggy weather that can sometimes plague season-openers.

Although Sept. 2 will technically be a home game for Purdue, the powers that be at UofL are hopeful that the red inside the stadium will outnumber the brownish gold (or whatever Boilermakers wear). If you’re interested in helping make that happen, you can get tickets starting at $35 if you go to gocards.com/kickoffgame.

Will I be able to tailgate somewhere before the game?

Of course. Although it may be slightly more tricky than tailgating at your usual spot outside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Lucas Oil did not distribute any parking passes for either school to sell, which means fans are going to have to get a little creative. The good news is that there are a number of parking lots and places of business near the stadium that do sell parking passes. If you go to parkwhiz.com, it will show you exactly which lots are available for parking and how you can contact the owners about getting passes. If you’re traveling to Indy with a large group of Cardinal fans early in the day and you’re hoping to drink your own alcohol and sit on your own tailgate chairs, this is likely your best option.

Will there be a pre-game event in Indy for Cards fans to attend?

You betcha. UofL Athletics, the UofL Alumni Association and the Petrino Family Foundation are hosting a joint tailgate/pep rally from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Jobsite Supply Lot right across the street from Lucas Oil Stadium.

Tickets to the pep rally are $50 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. Those tickets get you a dinner provided by Mark’s Feed Store, two drink tickets and access to the entertainment provided by the UofL Spirit Squad, the Ladybirds and the Cardinal Marching Band.

To buy tickets or to find out more information on the pep rally, visit eventbrite.com and search for “Card Nation.”

What if I don’t want to stay the night?

The allure of your own bed can be especially appealing after a full day of drinking and football; I get it. If you and a group are looking for a nice and easy up and back trip to Indianapolis on September 2, Anthony Travel has a game package that will get you back in Louisville as soon as possible following the game. Visit gocardstravel.com/cards-vs-purdue for the full details.

Are there other things to do in Indy if we want to make a weekend out of it?

I mean, it’s not as cool as Louisville but there’s some stuff there I guess.

If you’re bringing youngsters with you to the game on Saturday, then you can spend part of Sunday visiting the acclaimed Children’s Museum of Indianapolis or the Indianapolis Zoo. If it’s an adults only weekend then you can hit up the arts, bars and restaurants in downtown Indy or venture about 20 minutes north and check out the scene in Broad Ripple, which is similar to Louisville’s Highlands area.

The best option for the rest of the weekend, however, is to find somewhere quiet and re-watch Saturday’s game. Lamar Jackson touchdowns age better than any fine wine. VT