Indy businesses recovering from COVID hope for kickoff boost; ‘It’s everything. I mean, it’s huge’


INDIANAPOLIS — If you’ve walked through the streets of downtown Indianapolis recently, you’ve likely noticed the sea of blue, as fans from across Colts Nation have convened – ready for kickoff this Sunday.

All the pent-up excitement has local businesses giddy as well; many haven’t served crowds this large since the last full capacity game at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2019.

“I love the excitement,” longtime Colts fan Carrol Thiele said. “I’ve been a Colts fan forever, so I love coming to these things, all these people gathered together, we missed it last year.”

The Colts are back in action and the city’s mainstay businesses are ready to play host.

“When the Colts are doing well… we’re, selfishly also doing well,” Slippery Noodle Office Manager Sara Etherington said. “I would say that we’re best prepared for a Colts game. Cause again, we know that routine… we’ve been here a long time.”

In the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium along South Street, you’ll find several pre & post game watering holes. The Slippery Noodle, Indiana’s oldest bar, just happens to be one of them. 

“It’ll be nice though to have everybody here, every table full- we can bring em all in again,” Etherington said. “I was still here when it was the dome and having Lucas right there is great.”

Admittedly, last season wasn’t great, not for businesses at least. The pandemic hasn’t done them any favors.

“Staffing can still be precarious,” Etherington said. “We’re still not back to being open seven days a week so when you can have a full capacity Colts Sunday… that’s huge for us.”

Welcoming back thousands of fans. Like Colts Superman George Logan III

“It’s here, I been waiting, I can’t wait,” Logan III said. 

Even new fans who have traveled hundreds of miles to see a game in person for the first time like the O’Halloran brothers who made the trip from Vermont with their parents.

“We’re just really excited cause we’ve never been here before and our dad always talks about how awesome it is here,” the O’Hallorans said. 

Because all the excitement is good for every business that calls Indy home. 

“It’s just a ripple effect,” Etherington said. “We’ll be back to our full what Colts Sundays used to be like so, I think we’re ready!”

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