It’s been in Indianapolis since 1987. The NFL Scouting Combine takes place each year as spring approaches at Lucas Oil Stadium. Before that, it was held in the RCA Dome. It has long made perfect sense to have the combine here. After all, Indianapolis is centrally located and offers a domed venue at a time of year when the weather is uncertain. In June, though, the league announced it was putting the Scouting Combine up for bids. Now the event could be moved to Dallas, Los Angeles, or even Las Vegas.
Ora Williamson manages a parking lot a few blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium and says the combine is an annual windfall. “I think it’s great for the city,” he said as he stood in the doorway of his office. “I think they like it. I hope they keep it.”
That was the sentiment we encountered nearly everywhere downtown as the combine got underway.
We talked to patrons and management at The Slippery Noodle, Indy’s oldest bar, all of whom thought the combine should stay just where it is. Of course, you’d expect Indy peeps to feel that way. That sentiment, though, extends to visitors. Billy Lutz is a camera operator for ESPN and marks his calendar each year, looking forward to his visit to Indianapolis.
“People are friendly, restaurant people are nice,” Lutz said enthusiastically. The seasoned TV pro had some advice for where the combine should take place for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell too. “Indianapolis and if not they’re going to take away your thirty-one-million a year and you can go commission some other sport. Thank you!”