The Best Places to Watch College Football in Indianapolis

Yes, yes. It's still summer—but, if you're a college football fan, you're probably itching for the season to start. Good news, you'll be able to scratch that itch in no time with the official first day of college football competition beginning Friday, August 26th when California takes on Hawaii at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. The game actually kicks off Saturday the 27th at noon in the land down under, but here in the U.S., it'll be 10 p.m. ET. Which means the bars will be hoppin' with football fans looking for a place to get their game on. And here in Indy there're plenty of sports bars to do just that. Here are six downtown hotspots where you can meet up, hang out, and watch college football in Indianapolis.

High Velocity Sports Bar at the JW Marriott
Inside one of the most glorious hotels in the city, High Velocity—dubbed "HV" by locals— features a state-of-the-art audio system, a sports ticker, high-top tables, and even has a swanky private room you can reserve for you and all your favorite sports fans. TRY: If you're here for one of the Indianapolis Indian's home games, get the "Walk-off" Grilled cheese with braised short rib and Munster cheese—otherwise order anything you want just be sure to add the jalapeño coleslaw and sweet potato fries!

Scotty's Brewhouse
With more than 30 big sets and individual, 13-inch LCD screens in every booth, you will never have to wrench your neck to see the game—or games, at Scotty's. A true hotspot for college sports lovers, the downtown location is one of many throughout the Hoosier state and it's a favorite place to watch Indiana-based teams compete like Notre Dame, IU, Purdue, and Ball State. TRY: beer-battered pickle slices cooked up to crisp perfection.

Champps Americana
This is the bar where you can always find someone to root on your favorite team, no matter the sport. A great place for burgers, if you join the Champps MVP League, not only will you get points for every dollar spent—redeemable for free stuff later on—but you'll also get a free cheeseburger just for signing up! TRY: Deviled eggs with whipped with mustard and mayonnaise, topped with paprika, bacon, jalapeño. Why? Because everyone loves them!

Indianapolis Colts Grille
This garish Colts-themed bar is the place to hang out before and after home Colts' games let alone when the team is on the road. With more than 60—yes, 60!—TVs, you can rest assured if the sporting event you want to watch is being broadcast somewhere, the Grille's satellite will find it! TRY: Spinach Artichoke Dip— Parmesan cream sauce with spinach, artichoke hearts and chopped Berkshire pork belly swirled together with a parmesan cream sauce; served with house-made tortilla chips.

Champions Sports Bar & Grill at the Marriott
A staple stop off for business lunches, Champions is also an easy, laid back place to catch the big game. With multiple TVs—including two jumbo-sized projector screens—this bar lends a sports-of-all-sorts kind of atmosphere to both the weekday corporate type and weekend warrior. TRY: The loaded cheese fries with cheese (duh), bacon, tomatoes and scallions—need we say more?

Kilroy's Bar N' Grill
A favorite hangout for IU alums—there is, after all, a Kilroy's in Bloomington—the downtown Indy location caters not only to Hoosier devotees but also NFL and NBA fans. A fun place in the fall months when the weather's just the right temp to enjoy the bar's back patio. TRY: The hand rolled breadsticks stuffed with a real mozzarella and provolone cheese, served with dipping sauce. Yum!

Shauna Nosler lives in Indianapolis. She's a contributor to both the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as well as to the national news organization U.S. News & World Report. A self-proclaimed college football freak, her pick to win the Natty this year is, of course, the Oregon Ducks. QUACK! More of her writing can be found on the lifestyle blog, The Flavored Word.

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