For generations, Indiana has built a reputation as one of the best places to host sporting events. From huge events in auto racing and basketball to college football trophies, high-speed boat racing and championship golf tournaments put these 20 sporting events in Indiana on your calendar for 2020. This list is part of The 20 IN 20. Begin your decade with a true adventure in 2020 by completing at least 20 of our 400 incredible things to do! Find out more about The 20 IN 20 here.
Dates: Through April, New Seasons Begin in October
Professional and collegiate hockey runs rampant in Indiana! Notre Dame Hockey, apart of the Big Ten Conference, plays their home games at Compton Family Ice Arena. Fans can purchase single-game, season tickets and 10 or six-game flex plans. The Indy Fuel, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks and the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs are in their 6th season at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The Fort Wayne Komets are in their 68th season and also apart of the ECHL. They are an affiliate of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Both the Fuel and Komets play a 72-game schedule spanning through October to April, with 36 home games.
Dates: Pacers: Now through April 18 (resumes in October), Fever: May 15 – September 20
The Indiana Pacers are having a great year in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. With the electric Victor Oladipo back from his injury in 2019 and NBA All-Star Domantas Sabonis, the Pacers are poised to make some noise to the playoffs and have an exciting second half of the season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Indiana Fever will begin their season in May with Kelsey Mitchell and Candice Dupree as team leaders. The Fever are ready to return to action and put on a show in 2020 at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse where they are slated to play until 2022. Buy Pacers tickets here. Buy Fever tickets here.
Dates: March 4-8 & March 11-15
The Big Ten basketball regular season is competitive for both the men and women as teams battle it out for months. In March, post-season play begins as all fourteen Big Ten basketball teams will compete in the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The winner of each tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, AKA “The Big Dance”. The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament is now closed to fans due to public health concerns. “The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.”
Dates: March – October
In just seven short years a professional soccer team, the Indy Eleven has become a contender in the United Soccer League. Lucas Oil Stadium provides a world-class venue for the team and an unmatched fan experience. You better be ready to cheer and go crazy because their fan base loves to have fun! Buy tickets here.
Dates: Men’s: March 26 & 28 in Indy. Women’s: March 28 & 30 in Fort Wayne.
“The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the United States, and behavioral risk mitigation strategies are the best option for slowing the spread of this disease. This is especially important because mildly symptomatic individuals can transmit COVID-19. Given these considerations, coupled with a more unfavorable outcome of COVID-19 in older adults – especially those with underlying chronic medical conditions – we recommend against sporting events open to the public. We do believe sport events can take place with only essential personnel and limited family attendance, and this protects our players, employees, and fans.’
This affects the NCAA events scheduled to be held in Indiana: NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Regional, the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Elite Eight and the NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Basketball Regional. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.
The Hoosier State doesn’t have a Major League Baseball Team, but there are a lot of great teams and ballparks to watch a game! Indiana has five minor league baseball teams including the the Evansville Otters, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Gary SouthShore RailCats, Indianapolis Indians and South Bend Cubs. There are also two ballparks you’ll recognize from the silver screen, including League Stadium and Bosse Field! For a more in-depth look at each of #The20IN20 ballparks, click here.
Date: May 23-24
The “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is the quintessential Hoosier sports experience. Thirty-three driver take 200 magic laps around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a chance to be crowned champion of the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Bask in the tradition of pre-race ceremonies and post-race celebrations only found at the Indy 500. The day before the race, 300,000 people will line the streets in Indianapolis to watch the 500 Festival. Giant helium balloons, massive floats, bands, celebrities, and more will make up one of the largest parades in the United States. Buy tickets to the Indianapolis 500 here.
Dates: June 12-14
Nearly 3,000 athletes and partners across Indiana will compete at Indiana State University for the Indiana Special Olympics Summer Games. The Special Olympics is a global organization giving every person and athlete, regardless of ability or disability, a chance to be accepted. A diverse set of Olympic style sports are featured including cycling, horshoes, bowling, powerlifitng, swimming, track & field, volleyball, bocce, and more. This special sporting event will inspire you! Learn More.
Date: June 14-21
Just a month before the 2020 Olympics kick off in Tokyo, divers will participate in the Olympic Diving Team Trials in Indianapolis to decide who will represent Team USA. This will be the 7th time that the U.S. Olympic Team Diving Trials will have taken place in Indiana. The recently renovated IU Natatorium will be the perfect venue to get up close and personal with future medalists! Buy tickets here.
Date: July 4
The 70th Annual Madison Regatta is one of the largest hydroplane races in the United States. H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes will race each other along the Ohio River in Madison to compete for the coveted Gold Cup! Celebrate Independence day by watching these racing boats speed by at over 200mph. Learn More.
Date: July 5
On Independence Day weekend, take another trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to see NASCAR stars like Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch compete at the annual Big Machine Vodka Brickyard 400. TFGL Fest, a music festival featuring Florida Georgia Line and other acts, takes place on July 4 at the speedway. The whole weekend is also full of exciting races that eventually leads up to the Sunday main event. Buy tickets here.
Dates: July 30 – August 1 & August 24-30
Two of Southern Indiana’s most majestic golf courses will host major professional championships tournaments this summer. The 3rd Annual Senior LPGA Championship will be played once again at the fabled Pete Dye Course at French Lick, July 30 through August 1. This 54-hole tournament provides a platform to celebrate legends of women’s golf. Learn more about the Senior LPGA Championship. The Korn Ferry Tour Championship returns to Victoria National Golf Club for the second consecutive year, bringing the top up-and-coming golfers in the men’s game to one of Indiana’s most respected courses, August 24-30. Learn More About the Korn Ferry Tour Championship.
Dates: July- December
The Indianapolis Colts are on the rise with young stars like Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson leading the way. The 2020 football season is going to be a lot of fun and Lucas Oil Stadium provides one of the best fan experiences in the entire country. Colts Training Camp kicks off the season in August at Grand Park in Westfield. This is your rare chance to get an up-close and personal experience with you favorite players! Buy Colts tickets for the 2020 season.
Dates: September 2-7
Lucas Oil Raceway is home to the world’s most prestigious drag race. Fans and racers from all over the world will descend to Lucas Oil Raceway for the biggest event in drag racing. The 66th NHRA Chevrolet Performance US Nationals will take pace on Labor Day weekend and feature legendary drivers like John Force. Fans have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the drivers. Learn More.
Date: November 7
As possibly the most storied program in college football, taking in a Notre Dame Football game should be on the bucket list for any sports fan. When a preseason favorite with a major Heisman Trophy is on the schedule to pay a visit to Notre Dame Stadium for a potential top 10 showdown, there is potential for an epic event. In November, the Clemson Tigers will come in to South Bend having been to four of the last five national championship games. This match-up is history in the making and is not one you want to miss. Buy tickets here.
Date: November 14 & November 28
Two of college football’s most historic rivalry trophies are contested every year in Indiana. DePauw University and Wabash College have played each other for 130 years and have fought to win the rights to the Monon Bell for almost 90 years. Wabash currently leads the Monon Bell Classic with a record of 62-55-9. DePauw won the 2019 game, but the Little Giants have a chance to redeem themselves at home in the 127th Monon Bell Classic! The Indiana-Purdue football rivalry began in 1891, one year after the Monon Bell Classic’s first game was played. They compete for possession of the Old Oaken Bucket, an wooden bucket used in a southern Indiana well in the 1840s. The winner of the game gets to add an “I” or “P” to the bucket chain. Purdue leads the rivalry in wins so far, but IU took home the Old Oaken Bucket in 2019. The rival programs will duke it out in Bloomington on November 28th. Learn More.
Date: December 5
The city of Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium will play host to the 10th annual Big Ten Football Championship on December 5, 2020. The Big Ten Conference and Indiana Sports Corp have entered into an agreement to host Big Ten Football Championship Games at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis through 2021. The game features the champions from the Big Ten East and Big Ten West divisions vying to earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy and a chance to play in one of the six bowls that comprise the College Football Playoff, including the Rose Bowl Game. Learn More.
Date: December 5
The Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) have partnered with the City of Hobart and South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority to form America’s Crossroads Bowl. The second annual bowl game will take place December 5, 2020 at the Brickyard Stadium in Hobart, Indiana. Learn More.
Date: December 11
College basketball has a lot of neat traditions all throughout the country. However, there may be none more unique and fun than the annual “Silent Night Basketball Game” at Taylor University. Students attend the game in their pajamas and other fun costumes. The whole arena stays completely silent until the 10th point, where the students go nuts and rush the court. At the end of the game, fans sing “Silent Night“. The unique tradition always gets national media attention from outlets like ESPN and CBS. There are standing room only crowds with limited advance ticket sales. Learn More.
This is college basketball at its best with four legendary Indiana basketball programs going head to head. The Crossroads Classic features the Indiana Hoosiers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Butler Bulldogs, and the Purdue Boilermakers. This year, the match-ups will be Notre Dame vs. Purdue and Butler vs. IU. Winners of each game can stake their claim for Hoosier basketball supremacy! While the specific date hasn’t been announced the Crossroads Classic is usually held the 3rd Saturday of December.
Other Key Events in 2020:
March 7 – Ohio Valley Conference Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament, Evansville
March 9-10 – Horizon League Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournament, Indianapolis
March 20-21 – NCAA DIII Men’s Basketball Regional, Fort Wayne
March 26 & 28 – NCAA DII Men’s Basketball Elite Eight, Evansville
April 11 – 2020 Hoosier Reunion Classic All-Star Game, Knightstown
April 24-26 – Endeavor Games, Fort Wayne
May 24-25 – PBR Bullfest, Shipshewana
June 20 – Annual NWI Soap Box Derby, Valparaiso
June 27-28 – The GRAIL Lacrosse Tournament, Westfield
July 7-11 – Donald Ross Classic, French Lick
July 11 – Indiana Derby, Shelbyville
July 25 – Indy Ultimate
September 12-13 – Ohio Valley River Cats Catfish Tournament, Rising Sun
September 25-26 – Fort4Fitness 13th Annual Fall Festival, Fort Wayne
Plan your #The20IN20 trip by checking out the sites of the sporting events below!