Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend

The state of Indiana is home to two major professional sport franchises, and a number of college sports teams. Indiana is also prominent in auto racing.

Professional sports teams

Indiana has a rich basketball heritage that reaches back to the formative years of the sport itself. Although Canadian educator and inventor James Naismith developed basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, Indiana is where high school basketball was born. In 1925, Naismith visited an Indiana basketball state finals game along with 15,000 screaming fans and later wrote "Basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport." The 1986 film Hoosiers is inspired by the story of the 1954 Indiana state champions Milan High School.

As of 2013 Indiana has produced more National Basketball Association (NBA) players per capita than any other state. Muncie has produced the most per capita of any American city, with two other Indiana cities in the top ten.[1] Professional basketball player Larry Bird was born in West Baden Springs and was raised in French Lick. He went on to lead the Boston Celtics to the NBA championship in 1981, 1984, and 1986.[2]

The Indiana Pacers of the NBA play their home games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse; they began play in 1967 in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and joined the NBA when the leagues merged in 1976.

Indianapolis is home to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference. The Colts have roots back to 1913 as the Dayton Triangles. They became an official team after moving to Baltimore, MD, in 1953. In 1984, the Colts relocated to Indianapolis, leading to an eventual rivalry with the Baltimore Ravens. After calling the RCA Dome home for 25 years, the Colts currently play their home games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. While in Baltimore, the Colts won the 1970 Super Bowl. In Indianapolis, the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, bringing the franchise total to two. In recent years the Colts have regularly competed in the NFL playoffs.

List of current major professional teams

Club Sport Established League Venue
Indiana Fever Basketball 2000 Women's National Basketball Association Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indiana Pacers Basketball 1967 National Basketball Association Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis Colts Football 1953/1984 National Football League Lucas Oil Stadium
USL Super League Indianapolis[3] Soccer 2023 USL Super League Eleven Park (planned)

List of other current professional teams

Club Sport Established League Venue
Evansville Otters Baseball 1995 Frontier League Bosse Field
Evansville Thunderbolts Ice hockey 2016 Southern Professional Hockey League Ford Center
Fort Wayne Komets Ice hockey 1952 ECHL Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne TinCaps Baseball 1993 Midwest League Parkview Field
Gary SouthShore RailCats Baseball 2002 American Association U.S. Steel Yard
Indiana Mad Ants Basketball 2007 NBA G League Gainbridge Fieldhouse (Temporary)
Indianapolis AlleyCats Ultimate 2012 American Ultimate Disc League Grand Park Events Center
Indianapolis Indians Baseball 1902 International League Victory Field
Indy Eleven Soccer 2014 USL Championship IU Michael A. Carroll Track & Soccer Stadium
Indy Fuel Ice hockey 2014 ECHL Indiana Farmers Coliseum
Kokomo BobKats Basketball 2020 The Basketball League Memorial Gymnasium
Lebanon Leprechauns Basketball 2021 The Basketball League Rosenstihl Gymnasium
Medora Timberjacks Basketball 2021 The Basketball League Medora High School
South Bend Cubs Baseball 1988 Midwest League Four Winds Field

List of current amateur teams

Club Sport Established League Venue
1927 SC Soccer 1927 Midwest Premier League
Crestwood Panthers Collegiate summer baseball 2017 Northern League
Dubois County Bombers Collegiate summer baseball 1998 Prospect League League Stadium
Elkhart County Miracle Collegiate summer baseball 2023 Northern League
Fort Wayne FC Soccer 2019 USL League 2

Shields Field

Fort Wayne Spacemen Junior ice hockey 2012 United States Premier Hockey League
Griffith Generals Collegiate summer baseball 2014 Northern League
Indy Eleven (Women) Soccer 2021 USL W League Grand Park
Kokomo Jackrabbits Collegiate summer baseball 2014 Northwoods League
Lafayette Aviators Collegiate summer baseball 2015 Prospect League Loeb Stadium
Lake County Corn Dogs Collegiate summer baseball 2022 Northern League
Northwest Indiana Oilmen Collegiate summer baseball 2012 Northern League
Richmond Jazz Collegiate summer baseball 2016 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League
Southland Vikings Collegiate summer baseball 2011 Northern League
South Bend Lions Soccer 2019 USL League 2 TCU School Field
Terre Haute Rex Collegiate summer baseball 2010 Prospect League Bob Warn Field

List of former major professional teams

Club Sport Years League
Fort Wayne Kekiongas Baseball 1866–1871 National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, National Association of Base Ball Players
Hammond Pros Football 1920–26 National Football League
Indianapolis Blues Baseball 1878 National League
Indianapolis Hoosiers Baseball 1884 American Association
Indianapolis Hoosiers Baseball 1887–1889 National League
Indianapolis Racers Ice hockey 1974–1978 World Hockey Association

List of other former professional and amateur teams

Club Sport Years League
Chi-Town Shooters Ice hockey 2008–11 All American Hockey League
Elkhart Express Basketball 2006–09 International Basketball League
Evansville Crush Indoor Soccer 2010–13 Premier Arena Soccer League
Evansville IceMen Ice hockey 2008–10 All American Hockey League
Evansville IceMen Ice hockey 2010–2016 ECHL
Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts Junior ice hockey 2015–2019 North American 3 Hockey League
Evansville Kings Indoor Soccer 2013–14 Premier Arena Soccer League
Fort Wayne Fever Soccer 2003–09 USL Premier Development League
Gary Steelheads Basketball 2000–08 International Basketball League
Illiana Blackbirds Junior ice hockey 2012–2016 MnJHL/USPHL
Indiana Blizzard Ice hockey 2010 All American Hockey League
Indiana Ice Junior ice hockey 2004–2014 United States Hockey League
Indiana Invaders Soccer 1998–2011 USL Premier Development League

College sports

Further information: Hoosier Hysteria and List of college athletic programs in Indiana

Indiana has had great sports success at the collegiate level. NCAA Division I athletic programs in the state are:

Team City Type Conferences
Ball State Cardinals Muncie State Mid-American Conference (FBS)
Butler Bulldogs Indianapolis Private
/ non-sectarian
Big East Conference
/ Pioneer Football League (FCS)
Evansville Purple Aces Evansville Private
/ Methodist
Missouri Valley Conference (non-football)
Indiana Hoosiers Bloomington State Big Ten Conference (FBS)
Indiana State Sycamores Terre Haute State Missouri Valley Conference
/ Missouri Valley Football Conference (FCS)
IUPUI Jaguars[a] Indianapolis State Horizon League (non-football)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish South Bend Private
/ Catholic
Atlantic Coast Conference / FBS independent
Purdue Boilermakers West Lafayette State Big Ten Conference (FBS)
Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons Fort Wayne State Horizon League (non-football)
Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles Evansville[b] State Ohio Valley Conference (non-football)
Valparaiso Beacons Valparaiso Private
/ Lutheran
Missouri Valley Conference
/ Pioneer Football League (FCS)
  1. ^ The sponsoring university, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, will be dissolved after the 2023–24 school year and replaced by separate institutions affiliated with Indiana University and Purdue University. The athletic program will transfer to the new IU Indianapolis, and may be branded either with that name or as IUI.
  2. ^ Mailing address; the campus is outside the city limits in Perry Township.

NCAA Division II athletic programs in the state are:

Team City Type Conferences
Indianapolis Greyhounds Indianapolis State Great Lakes Valley Conference
Purdue Northwest Pride Hammond State Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (non-football)

NCAA Division III athletic programs in the state are:

Team City Type Conferences
Anderson Ravens Anderson Private HCAC
DePauw Tigers Greencastle Private North Coast
Earlham Hustlin' Quakers Richmond Private HCAC
Franklin Grizzlies Franklin Private HCAC
Hanover Panthers Hanover Private HCAC
Manchester Spartans North Manchester Private HCAC
Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers Terre Haute Private HCAC
St. Mary's Belles Notre Dame Private Michigan
Trine Thunder Angola Private Michigan
Wabash Little Giants Crawfordsville Private North Coast

NAIA athletic programs in the state are:

Team City Type Conferences
Bethel Pilots Mishawaka Private Crossroads
CCSJ Crimson Wave Whiting Private Chicagoland
Goshen Maple Leafs Goshen Private Crossroads
Grace Lancers Winona Lake Private Crossroads
Holy Cross Saints Notre Dame Private Chicagoland
Huntington Foresters Huntington Private Crossroads
Indiana Tech Warriors Fort Wayne Private Wolverine–Hoosier
Indiana Wesleyan Wildcats Marion Private Crossroads
IU East Red Wolves Richmond State River States
IU Kokomo Cougars Kokomo State River States
IU Northwest Redhawks Gary State Chicagoland
IU South Bend Titans South Bend State Chicagoland
IU Southeast Grenadiers New Albany State River States
IUPUC Crimson Pride[a] Columbus State Continental
Marian Knights Indianapolis Private Crossroads
Oakland City Mighty Oaks Oakland City Private River States
Saint Francis Cougars Fort Wayne Private Crossroads
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Pomeroys St. Mary's Private River States
Taylor Trojans Upland Private Crossroads
  1. ^ When IUPUI is dissolved at the end of the 2023–24 school year, almost all of IUPUC's academic programs will fall under the administration of the Indiana University system. Accordingly, the athletic program will transfer to a new institution that is expected to be named Indiana University Columbus (athletically "IU Columbus").

NJCAA athletic programs in the state are:

Team City Type Conferences
Ancilla Chargers Donaldson Private MCCAA
Ivy Tech Titans Fort Wayne State OCCAC
Vincennes Trailblazers Vincennes State MWAC


Indiana has an extensive history with motorsport. Indianapolis hosts the Indianapolis 500 mile race over Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every May since 1911. The name of the race is usually shortened to "Indy 500" and also goes by the nickname "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." The race attracts over 250,000 people every year, making it the largest single day sporting event in the world. The track also hosts the Brickyard 400 of the NASCAR Cup Series since 1994. From 2000 to 2007, it hosted the United States Grand Prix (Formula One). From 2008 to 2015, it hosted the Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix.

Indiana features the world's largest and most prestigious drag race, the NHRA's U.S. Nationals, held each Labor Day weekend at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Indiana.

The United States Auto Club is headquartered next to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and sanctions the Indiana Midget Week in June and the Indiana Sprint Week in July. Notable short ovals in Indiana include Indianapolis Raceway Park (NASCAR Trucks and USAC Silver Crown), Anderson Speedway (Little 500 and ARCA/CRA Redbud 400), Salem Speedway (ARCA, USAC Silver Crown), Terre Haute Action Track (USAC Silver Crown Sumar Classic, Hut Hundred, Hulman Classic), and Winchester Speedway (USAC Silver Crown and ARCA/CRA Winchester 400). The Indiana State Fairgrounds used to host the USAC Silver Crown Hoosier Hundred from 1953 to 2020.

Ironman Raceway hosts annual rounds of the Grand National Cross Country since 1995 and the AMA Motocross Championship since 2014. In addition, the AMA Supercross Championship visited the RCA Dome from 1998 to 2008, and the Lucas Oil Stadium has hosted a round since 2009.

Indiana is also host to a major unlimited hydroplane racing power boat race circuits in the major H1 Unlimited league, the Madison Regatta (Madison).

Major annual events

Sport Event League Facility Location Year established
Auto racing Indianapolis 500 IndyCar Series Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway 1911
GMR Grand Prix 2014
Gallagher Grand Prix 2020
Verizon 200 at the Brickyard NASCAR Cup Series 2021
Pennzoil 150 NASCAR Xfinity Series 2012
Battle on the Bricks IMSA SportsCar Championship 2014/2023
Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park Brownsburg 1961
TSport 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 1995/2022
Reese's 200 ARCA Menards Series 1983/2022
Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown Series 1946/2023

Horse racing

Pari-mutuel betting was legalized in 1989. Hoosier Park opened in Anderson in 1994, and off-track betting parlors opened in the state in 1995. Indiana Downs opened in Shelbyville in 2002. Hoosier Park became a racino on 2008 and Indiana Downs did the same in 2009.

Sports venues

National Historic Landmark Hinkle Fieldhouse, located on the campus of Butler University.
Facility Seating Capacity City
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 257,325 Speedway
Notre Dame Stadium 80,795 South Bend
Ross–Ade Stadium 65,000 West Lafayette
Lucas Oil Stadium 63,000 Indianapolis
Memorial Stadium 52,929 Bloomington
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park 30,000 Brownsburg
Scheumann Stadium 25,400 Muncie
Gainbridge Fieldhouse 18,165 Indianapolis
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall 17,456 Bloomington
Mackey Arena 14,240 West Lafayette
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum 13,000 Fort Wayne
Memorial Stadium 12,764 Terre Haute
Victory Field 12,496 Indianapolis
Michael Carroll Stadium 12,111 Indianapolis
John E. Worthen Arena 11,500 Muncie
Hulman Center 10,200 Terre Haute
Ford Center 10,000 Evansville
Edmund P. Joyce Center 9,800 South Bend
New Castle High School Field House 9,325 New Castle
Hinkle Fieldhouse 9,100 Indianapolis
Anderson Wigwam 8,996 Anderson
Parkview Field 8,100 Fort Wayne
Muncie Fieldhouse 7,635 Muncie
Bud and Jackie Sellick Bowl 7,500 Indianapolis
Indiana Farmers Coliseum 6,300 Indianapolis
U.S. Steel Yard 6,000 Gary
Indiana State College Arena 5,500 Terre Haute
Bosse Field 5,181 Evansville
Compton Family Ice Arena 5,022 South Bend
Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium 5,000 South Bend

List of Championships

Team League Total Season
Gary SouthShore RailCats American Association of Professional Baseball 3 2005, 2007, 2013
Indiana Fever WNBA 1 2012
Indiana Mad Ants G League 1 2013–14
Indiana Pacers ABA 3 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73
Indianapolis Colts NFL 1 2006
Indy Eleven USL W League 1 2023
Evansville Otters Frontier League 2 2006, 2016


  1. ^ Fischer-Baum, Reuben (2013-06-17). "Infographics: Where Do Pro Basketball Players Come From?". Deadspin. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  2. ^ "Larry Bird Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story -". 20 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Indianapolis".