Three INDYCAR drivers to try American Ninja Warrior obstacle course on Monument Circle next week

Preparations underway on Monument Circle for NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior' taping (Sunrise 6:15am)

Preparations underway on Monument Circle for NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior' taping (Sunrise 5:15am)

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One of the most exciting television shows in America is setting up in Indianapolis for an action-packed competition - and it just got even better!

INDYCAR drivers Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Josef Newgarden will be in Indianapolis to compete at the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course on Monument Circle. The drivers will take part in the course next week. Details to come.

"Don't expect too much! That's all I can say. I'm gonna go, actually, do everything I can; obviously, try not to hurt myself. They're gonna show that INDYCAR drivers are really athletes. It's a great experience. I'm excited!" said Helio.

Crews for American Ninja Warrior started arriving Wednesday to set up the latest obstacle course on Monument Circle. This will affect traffic on the north side of the circle over the next few weeks.

American Ninja Warrior will enter it's eighth season this summer and it's visiting several major cities including Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. For the first time ever, the show is stopping in Indianapolis, setting up on the north spoke of Monument Circle. 

Setting up for a show of this magnitude is huge. A crew of 200 will be in town for ten days and spend six of those unpacking and setting up before they tape the show next Wednesday and Thursday.

If you're not familiar with the show, you should be! It's a high-energy series that follows competitors through a challenging obstacle course. Competitors go through qualifying rounds in some cities and race for the chance to go to the final stage at the famed Mt. Midoriyama in Las Vegas. The winner takes home a grand prize of $1 million.

Bringing the show to Indianapolis was no small task. 

"It took 18 months and four or five visits from producers to Indianapolis to scout the city and ultimately they gravitated here to Monument Circle, said Chris Gahl with Visit Indy. "Ultimately, they gravitated here to Monument Circle, the iconic, patriotic in nature. The history behind and the conducive nature for filming here attracted them to Indy and we beat out other major cities."

Landing this project also helps kick off the city's latest initiative called "Film Indy," which aims to bring more television shows, movies and commercial shoots to the city.

"This is an incredible opportunity to help market Indy as a vibrant city," Gahl said. "It's prime-time television and it's the eighth season, so we know the show has staying power. We know that seven million viewers will tune in to see Indy and this episode of ANW. So, if you're marketing a city, this is a huge opportunity."

The course in Indianapolis will be the first of it's kind — a curved course on the north spoke of Monument Circle from the Columbia Club and finishing up in front of Anthem.

There will be seating for 500 on the inside of the circle. There will be a lottery system to get those seats. Click here to sign up for tickets.

You'd better be a night owl. The taping will take place from 8 p.m. through sunrise. Producers like it dark and then use lighting to create the show's special ambiance.


The northwest and northeast quadrants of Monument Circle (north side), as well as the North Meridian spoke, will be closed to vehicular traffic Thursday through April 30.  Additionally, at 3 p.m. April 27, the entire Circle, as well as all surrounding spokes, will be closed to vehicles.  The south side of Monument Circle will reopen to vehicular traffic at 7 a.m. April 29, while the north side will remain closed until April 30.  

There may be parking and sidewalk restrictions for the events. More info on parking restrictions.