Heading into the third day of the Indianapolis Sport Facility Symposium, IUPUI Athletics gave us the opportunity to view their athletic facilities to start off the morning. It was amazing to see a university’s facilities where they have held and currently hold Olympic trials and events. During our visit, we first viewed “The Jungle” where the women’s basketball and volleyball teams take on their opponents from the Summit League. What really was interesting about “The Jungle” is that it is designed for athletics but also has value for recreation because of the multiple courts that they put in the gym. The versatility that “The Jungle” offers is a great design feature of the facility.
Our second spot was the Natatorium. This world-class facility is the largest indoor pool in the United States with the seating capacity of 4,700. A natatorium is the hardest facility there to maintain because of all the factors that goes into a swimming pool. Being able to view and ask questions about this facility, where they have held numerous nationally recognized events such as the USA Olympic Swimming Trials, was an amazing experience and extremely informative for us all.
Our third facility on the tour was the Michael A. Carroll Stadium. The stadium is home to not only the IUPUI soccer and track & field teams but also the Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League. What really impressed me is the relationship between IUPUI and the Indy Eleven. The Indy Eleven has an impressive presence in the stadium with all with their advertising but also contributes to the stadium to improve the facility for the benefit of both organizations.
Being a young professional with an interest in collegiate athletics, it was an honor and a privilege to see the facilities at IUPUI. Being able to ask questions relating to multiple facilities that have held professional, collegiate, national and Olympic events is an opportunity very few young professionals get to have and lucky for me; I was fortunate enough to get that opportunity today.
–Steven Zielen, student in the Master of Science in Recreation and Sport Administration program