INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Black Expo is returning Historically Black College and University (HBCU) football to Lucas Oil over the weekend for the 39th annual Circle City Classic.

IBE’s Classic week kicks off with several events leading up to Saturday afternoon’s big game downtown. The game will be between the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils and the North Carolina Central University Eagles at Lucas Oil at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23.

The team’s featured bands will also be present at the game.

“After a year hiatus, we are excited to announce HBCU football is coming back to Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Indiana Black Expo President and CEO, Alice Watson. “Bringing these Division One storied football teams, representing the MEAC and SWAC conferences with a great alumni base and incredible marching bands is a great opportunity to showcase the best of the best HBCU’s to the Midwest.


Sept. 17

The week kicked off with the Coronation event on Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. The event showcases area high school females and promotes academic achievement, community service and leadership development. 

The top three finalists received a combined total of $10,000 in scholarships to attend college as well as other gifts.

Sept. 20

The Circle City Classic praise and worship event is on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. The worship service will be held at the New Beginnings Fellowship Church off N. German Church Road and East 21st Street on the city’s east side where James A. Jackson, Sr. (DMin) is the senior Pastor.

Charles Goodman (DMin) will be the guest preacher. The event is open to the public.

Sept. 22

The Coaches’ luncheon will be on Sept. 22 at 11:30 a.m. at Lucas Oil Plaza (North Plaza). The cost is $500 per table.

The Talent Day Career Fair will be on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium (East Club Lounge). This is a free event.

The Circle City Classic Pep Rally will be on Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium (South Street) this was changed from the original location (the downtown Monument Circle). This will feature university band and cheerleaders from Mississippi Valley State University and North Carolina Central University.

Grammy award-winning R&B/ Gospel singer Fantasia is coming to the Circle City with special guest Grammy-nominated singer Joe. They will be performing on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. from the Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum on East 38th Street.

Tickets are available for the concert now on Ticketmaster (starting at $67).

Sept. 23

Saturday, Sept. 23 kicks off with the historic and annual Circle City Classic parade in downtown Indianapolis. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. at North Street and Pennsylvania Street.

Check-in is at 8 a.m.

The Education Day and College Fair will begin at 11 a.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium (East Club Lounge). You can get free admission with a ticket to the afternoon game.

There will also be a Tailgate & Fan Festival before the game in front of Lucas Oil (North Street) from Noon to 10 p.m. There is free admission to this.

Food will be catered by various local eateries and food trucks.

The Circle City Classic Football Game will be at 3 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Lucas Oil Stadium. As mentioned, the game will feature the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils versus the North Carolina Central University Eagles along with their featured bands.

Tickets for general admission are $20 and go up to $50. They can be purchased at Ticketmaster.

Immediately following the game, there will be a Greek Stroll Competition. This is included in your game ticket.