INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts are back at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday to take on the Minnesota Vikings for the first home game. It will look much different this year with limited ticket sales and tailgating opportunities.
Those 2,500 tickets are gone. That is only about 3% of the seats inside the stadium. Businesses are waiting to see how many people will still come to downtown on game day.
The Colts cancelled Touchdown Town and tailgating in their lots. Some parking lots around Lucas Oil are following the team’s lead on this, but others are still welcoming fans.
Gate Ten, south of Lucas Oil Stadium, is going to allow tailgating in their lot. In a statement, the lot company said it feels “spacing groups apart will be the most prudent thing to do.”
Gate Ten usually sees 3,000 people parked in their lots on game day. For this year’s home opener, they anticipate around 300.
Businesses in downtown are waiting to see how many people will still come to downtown on game day.
“Never in a million years could we have imagined what the first year of opening up our new restaurant downtown could have looked like,” said Michael Cranfill, owner of The District Tap.
The District Tap in downtown just celebrated their one year anniversary. The pandemic served a few challenges along the way.
Cranfill is remaining hopeful ahead of the Colt’s home opener. Their restaurant typically sees plenty of customers on Sundays since they are so close to the stadium.
“We had days where we were doing $50,000 in sales which can be as much as a week for a lot of places,” he said. “If we can get a third to half of the business we are going to be more than happy.”
Even the Indy Blue Crew will not be in on the action this weekend. The party must go somewhere else since the Colts cancelled tailgating on their property.
“I have probably been to every season opener since ’84 since they have come to town and it is going to be very strange,” said Randy Collins, founder of the Indy Blue Crew. “You want to stay safe too. Last weekend we had a get together in the front yard and it was a blast.”
Colts officials urge you to check with wherever you are parking to see what the rules are on tailgating. Kick off is at 1 p.m.
It is a season unlike any other as COVID-19 throws off the game plan.
“Come downtown and celebrate and get as close tot he action as possible,” said Cranfill.