The Indianapolis Motor Speedway in America is one of the most famous racing tracks in the world. It is home to the Indianapolis 500, the longest running single-race series in history. Over the years, the track has hosted many famous racing series like the IndyCar series and the Rolex Grand Prix. It is undoubtedly one of the most historic sports venues in all of North America. So it should come as no great surprise that it regularly appears on ‘best of’ lists for most historic sports arenas.
With the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway looming large, it is the perfect time to find out what would replace the trophy cabinets that have been emptied in preparation for the big day.
The Most Historic Sports Venues In North America
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the organizers of the speedway have made a museum filled with over 300 cars belonging to the famous drivers that have taken part in the race over the years. In the coming months, the museum will undergo a major transformation as cars from the first wave of IndyCar regulars in the 1920s and 30s are gradually removed and archived. But for now, the collection is a testament to the greatness of the track and its role in motor racing history.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is certainly not the only sports facility in North America that has seen better days. Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Houston’s Reliant Stadium and the Los Angeles Coliseum are all beautiful buildings, but they have not seen regular usage for years. It is a sad truth that these amazing sports arenas have sat empty for so long, but the world of sports venues has moved on without them.
So it would be remiss of us not to mention the other side of the coin and the great American arenas that still get the job done. The Boston Garden, the St. Louis Arena, the Chicago Stadium and the Madison Square Garden are all still standing proud. And although they have seen their fair share of renovations to keep up with the times, they are all still functioning at the highest level.
And it’s not just about the building. It’s about the games and the fans who continue to fill the seats year after year. Pro sports stadiums have come a long way in terms of making the game more comfortable for the fans, offering them a wide range of food and beverage choices, installing state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems and, of course, purchasing the best possible tickets to make sure everyone can follow the game.
Which Of The Following Fits The Indianapolis Motor Speedway?
So which of these historic sports venues would suit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway? Let’s compare the different types of sports and leagues that the track has hosted over the years.
Basketball – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has, in fact, hosted two basketball games as part of the pre-race festivities. The first one was held in 1935 and the second one was less than a decade later in 1945. The arena was the host of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1935 and ’36, and of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) in 1939. In 1935, the All-America Conference (which later became the NCAA) held a ‘brick-laying’ ceremony at the track. In 1945, basketball returned as part of the post-war celebration, with a three-point contest and a ‘Basketball Grand Prix’ (an early version of the NCAA Tournament) taking place. Since then, basketball has not returned.
Hockey – Hockey has also seen its moment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with two games, the first one taking place in 1934. The speedway hosted the American Hockey League (AHL) in 1935 and 1936. The second game was part of the post-war celebration in 1945. Since then, the track has not seen a National Hockey League (NHL) team.
Football – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also hosted two football games, with the first one taking place in 1935 and the second one in 1945. The first one was the American Football League (AFL) championship and the second one was an NFL exhibition game between the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears. The Giants would go on to win that game 20-7 and since then, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has not hosted another football game.
Baseball – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has also hosted two baseball games, with the first one taking place in 1935. The second one was an exhibition game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers in 1945. Since then, the speedway has not seen a Major League Baseball (MLB) team.
So, which of these historical sports venues would you like to see replace the original Indy cars in the coming months? Let us know in the comments below.