NCAA Hall of Champions

Posted on Mar 23 2023 in Travel
NCAA Hall of Champions
One of the many exhibits inside the NCAA Hall of Champions. Photo credit: C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos

March and April are the two months when the four letters “N-C-A-A” roll off the tongue most frequently — especially in basketball-crazed Indiana.

Though the clock runs out on the college hoops season with the Final Four, Hoosiers don’t have to let the lore or excitement fade with the arena crowds. The NCAA Hall of Champions, in the heart of Indiana, is a museum dedicated to college basketball and the 23 other college sports sanctioned by the NCAA.

NCAA HOC exterior
NCAA Hall of Champions exterior.

The Hall, which opened in 2000, is part of a three-building complex that also houses a conference center and the corporate headquarters of both the National Collegiate Athletic Association and National Federation of State High School Associations. The complex is in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis and is adjacent to the Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo.

The NCAA Hall of Champions pays tribute to the best college athletes from around the country. Interactive exhibits spread across two stories piece together the colorful and even deadly history and development of the NCAA.

The NCAA’s founding is linked to a White House summit PresidentTheodore Roosevelt had with college leaders in 1905 to address the brutality and unethical practices within college football at the time. Particularly brutal was the famed “Flying Wedge,” players linked in a V-formation, which is depicted in a statue at the Hall. The formation was banned following the Roosevelt meeting because of the number of players killed or injured while running it.

The Hall features 25,000 square feet of exhibit space, as well as a variety of kiosks, interactive games, activities and hands-on displays. On the first floor, all 24 NCAA sports are represented. There are trivia challenges, current team rankings, video highlights and artifacts donated from colleges around the nation. The second level is fully interactive and visitors can compete virtually through sports simulators or hands-on in a 1930s retro gymnasium.

Three separate theaters offer unique perspectives into the student athlete experience. The Champions Theater uses the theme of what it takes to be a champion in the world of collegiate sports and gives the answer through a presentation of the lives of several student athletes. The March Madness Theater puts visitors in the midst of the men’s and women’s March Madness basketball tournament. 

The Locker Room Theater depicts the life of collegiate athletics through the perspectives of several championship winning coaches and real-life student athletes.

Visitors should plan on spending about 90 minutes to fully engage with the exhibits.

A gift shop featuring all types of memorabilia and souvenirs is also on hand.

The Hall of Champions opened March 31, 2000, ahead of the 2000 NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game held in Indianapolis April 3, 2000.

If you go:

NCAA Hall of Champions

700 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204