National Championship: A Southerner’s Guide to Indianapolis in the Winter

by Clayton Edwards

Next Monday, the Georgia Bulldogs will meet the Crimson Tide in Indianapolis, Indiana for the National Championship game. That means hundreds of southerners are going to make the long trip Up North for the weekend. For many, Indy is alien territory. So, with that in mind, we found out what’s going on in Indy over the weekend.

National Championship Weekend Events

If you’re going to Indianapolis for the National Championship game and want to stick to football, you’re in luck. The city has several events planned that are directly connected to the big game. They’re turning downtown Indy into the Championship Campus and packing it with plenty of activities for fans.

First, there’s Playoff Fan Central. This three-day interactive experience will give thousands of fans a taste of what it’s like to be part of the National Championship. It includes games, pep rallies, band performances, special guests, and autograph signings. Additionally, it will house exhibits that celebrate the history and of college football. This family-friendly event takes place at the Indianapolis Convention Center from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday it runs from 10 am to 3 pm.

Tailgating Championship Style

Head to Monument Circle on Monday before the National Championship game to get in on the tailgating action. The Allstate Championship Tailgate kicks off at noon on Monday and runs until 5. You’ll experience all the food, booze, and fan love you’d expect from a tailgate party. Then, just before kickoff, they’re going to transform Monument Circle into the Capitol One Stage at Allstate Championship Tailgate. Sam Hunt and Breland will rock that stage before the Dawgs and Tide take the field.

Brews, Food, and Tunes

The folks Up North might seem like a different breed. However, they have plenty in common with Southerners. For instance, everybody loves good food, good beer, and live music. If you’re looking to pick up some craft beer before the National Championship game, you’re in luck. Indianapolis is one of the best brewery towns in the nation. They boast dozens of award-winning breweries. Check out the city’s tourism page to see how you can take a tour and score some samples.

If you need something a little stronger, head over to Wiseguy Lounge for their high-end bourbon selection. They’re located just behind Goodfellas, one of the city’s best pizza places.

Has it been too long since you’ve slid your boots on a hardwood floor? Check out Duke’s Honky Tonk, just two miles south of Lucas Oil Stadium. They’re a bar, restaurant, and neighborhood pub. Additionally, Duke’s is a live music venue that only books honky tonk and traditional country music bands.

If you get homesick while you’re waiting on the National Championship game to start, don’t worry. You can get Southern food in Indiana. Check out the Kountry Kitchen Soulfood Place and try their smothered pork chops or catfish fillets. Or check out the Mississippi Belle for a heavy dose of fried Southern-inspired goodness.

Whatever you decide to do in Indianapolis, stay warm, be safe, and make it home in one piece.