Jalen Tate was talking today about changing hotels

Because so many teams have left Indy. And it struck me.

The tournament started one week ago with 68 teams. FIFTY-TWO of them have gone home. The Hogs are still there at least for two more days. Hopefully four. Or nine. Or 11.

Gosh, your post made me think about what hotels did they end up staying in. The equivalent of a Holiday Inn Express, or a Hilton? I’m a spoiled adult traveler, and couldn’t imagine being holed up in a hotel without a hotel bar, or restaurant for three weeks. No offense to H.I. Express though.

All 68 teams were staying in four big hotels in very close proximity in downtown Indy: the JW Marriott, the Westin, the Hyatt Regency and the Indy Marriott Downtown. (The JW Marriott is the one with the world’s largest bracket hung outside). The teams have now all been moved into the Marriott Downtown. I do not know which hotel we started in, but obviously it wasn’t the Marriott Downtown. Each team got a floor to itself in its hotel and 34 rooms (team’s official Tier 1 party limited to 34 people; one person per room).

Here’s the JW:

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And the Downtown, where we are now:

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The players were not allowed to eat in the restaurants for COVID reasons; either food was brought to their rooms or some teams ate in the team meeting space in the Convention Center (they were able to order out, so they weren’t just limited to hotel catering).

Map of downtown Indy showing the hotels, Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Convention Center, and slightly to the northwest, NCAA headquarters.

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This is so interesting. Were the teams not allowed off their floor? Could the same team members go from room to room with their teammates? How the heck was all this policed?

Obviously they had to go to practice at one of the 12 courts in the Convention Center; meeting space and the infamous better-than-the-women’s weight room is also in the ICC. Muss has taken them over to Victory Field, the minor league baseball park, for some outdoor time a couple of times. The light blue on the downtown map is the skywalk system; you can go from the hotel through the ICC to Lucas Oil Stadium without walking outside if you wish (very useful for those Indiana winters, I would guess). As far as I know players could hang out with each other in their rooms.

The reason for separate rooms, of course, is to minimize exposure to each other in case somebody tested positive for the virus, so the whole team wouldn’t be wiped out by one positive test. It seems to have worked. VCU had a couple of people test positive but the county health department pulled the plug on them because of fears of exposing the Oregon team and others in the arena that night,

In case you’re wondering, the old Hoosier Dome/RCA Dome was part of the ICC and was demolished so they could expand the convention center. The Hogs played there in the 1989 subregional where we beat Loyola Marymount and lost to Louisville.

We stayed at the Sheraton City Center last weekend, it’s within easy walking distance of those other hotels mentioned. The JW Marriott is actually kind of on the edge of downtown, but it is right beside the convention center and the baseball field, and also very close to Lucas Oil Stadium. That bracket shows up very well on the side of the building, it looks very striking at night. The most beautiful thing about it was seeing the Arkansas team name getting moved into the Sweet Sixteen part of the bracket. Indy has a lot of nice restaurants throughout downtown, and most everything there is an easy walk to get to. The only places that weren’t were the arenas like Hinkle, which is out in the northern neighborhoods of Indy, the Farmers Coliseum, which was at the fairgrounds, and of course IU and Purdue’s arenas.

I’ve seen some cool arenas. Would like to see a game in person at Hinkle.

How do you KNOW this stuff?? Great post man. Thanks.

That question has passed through my mind a few times too? Swine and Wizard seem to have drones under their control. They sure know how to utilize social media.

Social media? Not really. Internet, yeah. Any time I found something about how the NCAA was going to pull off this tournament in a pandemic, I read it. And yesterday after listening to Tate’s interview I found this:

So that’s how I knew all the teams were now in the Marriott Downtown,

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