It was the primary home of the Indianapolis Indians for six decades, played host to Pan American Games competition in 1987, was a casting double for Wrigley Field for the feature film “Eight Men Out,” housed a dirt track for Midget racing and – in its most inglorious moment – housed automobiles as part of the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program.
Bush Stadium in Indianapolis (named for Donie Bush, who served as president of the Triple-A baseball team for 15 years) now is being revitalized in its 81st year.
Redevelopment is well under way at the 16th Street site, with loft apartments within the stadium’s shell and mixed commercial use being constructed. The wide-ranging urban renewal plan, with the stadium at its center, calls for a technology and life sciences corridor within the next few years.
IZOD IndyCar Series team owner/driver Ed Carpenter raced at facility that was leased by Tony George in 1997 and appropriately named 16th Street Speedway.
The racing venue was preceded by another 16th Street Speedway – across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The quarter-mile paved oval played host to races, including the annual Night Before the 500 Midget race from 1946 until 1959.
Winners include Indianapolis 500 competitors Duane Carter (winner of the first Midget race at the track on May 29, 1946), Johnnie Parsons, Eddie Sachs, Len Sutton, Gene Hartley, Mike Nazaruk, Manuel Ayulo, Johnny McDowell, Johnnie Tolan, Art Cross and Shorty Templeman, Eddie Sachs and Len Sutton.
The track was demolished to make room for a shopping center, and today the IndyCar corporate offices are located in the complex.