Nick LePage | Staff Writer
Indianapolis residents don’t always appreciate the wonderful attractions the city has to offer. Between the Indianapolis Zoo, the Children’s Museum and the multitude of professional and semi-professional athletic teams, Indianapolis has a lot of fun summer destinations. One such destination that many discuss but few ever go through with lies at the corner of Maryland and West Street and is home to the Indianapolis Indians: Victory Field. Victory Field is the perfect place for families of all ages and interests to find cheap summer entertainment. By learning what to do to prepare for a game, it will change your “I should go to a game” to “I can’t wait to go to a game!” attitude.
What is Indians Baseball?
The Indians are a minor league baseball team that has existed since 1902, making it the second oldest minor league team in America (there are nearly 250 minor league teams today). The Indians are the AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. AAA, or Triple-A, is the highest level of minor league baseball before the major leagues. This means that the players on the Indians are just one step below the major leagues.
What if I Don’t Like Baseball?
For the people who don’t find America’s pastime entertaining, there are plenty of reasons why an Indians game is still the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
The Atmosphere: A beautiful summer night can be well spent at an Indians game. The summer breeze and a view of the sunset is perfectly available at the ballpark, and the smells, sounds, and sights of summer are all a part of the experience.
Date Night: If you’re looking to do something different with your significant other this summer, try adding an Indians game to date night. If you want to go all out, make the game a part of an evening in the city that also includes dinner and a walk on the canal. Pick the right game and you’ll even be able to throw in fireworks at the end of the night.
Night with Friends: Instead of another night watching movies or playing video games, go to an Indians game to spend some quality time with friends. Even if your friends don’t care for baseball, Indians games allow a fun outdoor atmosphere where you and your friends can have fun and relax.
The Rundown: What to know before you get to the game
Attending a sporting event can be stressful. There is a lot to prepare for such as food, parking, game time and, of course, buying tickets. But have no worries, it’s really a lot simpler than it seems.
Parking: Unfortunately, parking at the stadium is limited to employees, suite holders and individuals with physical handicaps. However, there are two main lots that are close to the stadium and are safe. The first is on South Missouri Street, right next to Lucas Oil Stadium. Parking is only $5.00 and is no more than a few blocks from the gate. The other lot is located at White River State Park across from the ballpark. This lot tends to be more expensive than the one near Lucas Oil, but is more secure and has better lighting at night. There are several other lots and garages near the stadium that offer similar prices and are within easy walking distance.
Food: Concession prices at Victory Field align with the typical sporting event. Most food items range from $5-$12 depending on how much you want. Be prepared to dig deep into the wallet. However, if you bring a cooler to the game, you can bring your own food to enjoy if you sit in the outfield grass.
Tickets: Tickets can be ordered online or at the box office the day of the game. There are three different seating options at Victory Field. Box seats are located behind home plate and around each dugout. Although these seats are the most centralized in the ballpark, they are the most expensive at $17 a ticket. The remaining seats are reserved seats and cost $13 each. These seats are closer to the foul poles, but offer great views of the entire field from a different angle. Finally, the lawn is a great option for a picnic or just to spread out some blankets and relax. If you get to the field early enough, you may just catch a foul ball or batting practice home run, and at $11 per ticket, the lawn is a cheap yet suitable ticket.
Game Time: Weekday games typically start at 7:05 or 7:15, the exception being Wednesday day games which start at 1:05. All Saturday games have a 7:05 start time, and all Sunday games begin at 1:35. The gates open 90 minutes before game time. Be sure to check out the Indians website for exact game times.
Can’t Miss Games
Throughout the season, the Indians hold a variety of promotional games that may appeal to those who don’t really care for baseball.
Super Hero Nights: Marvel and DC Superhero nights are perfect for those who want to geek out at the game. Along with receiving a bobblehead of select superheroes, fans also have the opportunity to take their picture with that superhero. The dates for these special games are as follows:
June 23- Ant-Man
July 7- Iron Man and Spider-Man
August 11- Batman and The Joker
Dollar Menu Nights: Each Monday and Wednesday home games are dollar menu nights. As the name implies, certain menu items are reduced to $1. This special dollar menu includes hot dogs, potato chips, peanuts, Cracker Jacks and popcorn.
Fireworks Fridays: After each Friday home game, a fireworks show is held on field. Along with lasting a good amount of time, the fireworks are impressive.
Prospects Nights: Player bobbleheads are given to the first 2,500 fans inside the stadium. The team will also sign autographs on the concourse until 6:00. The gates open at 5:00, and these special dates are as follows:
June 2- Josh Bell Bobblehead
July 28- Gift Ngoepe Bobblehead
Because the Indians are a minor league team, many of the players are relatively unknown. However, the minor leagues don’t just hold players who aren’t good enough to play in the majors, but also the young stars of tomorrow. Most of today’s greats such as Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper, as well as many of the greats like Babe Ruth played minor league baseball. Here’s some names to remember when you attend an Indians game.
Nick Kingham: The RHP has already made his MLB debut this season, starting three games and achieving a 2-1 record. Kingham has been awaiting his trip to the show since being drafted in the fourth round in 2010, and now that he has done so it won’t be long before he’s back.
Kevin Newman #3: After being drafted in the first round in 2015, Newman is now looking to make that last jump to the MLB. The second baseman is tearing up minor league pitching, and is bound to move up to Pittsburgh this year.
Dovydas Neverauskas #39: If you’re wondering just where this guy is from, the answer is Lithuania. In fact, the relief pitcher is the first player ever from Lithuania to play in the major leagues. The former SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game participant brings the heat late in games, and has already seen time in the major leagues.