A celeb steakhouse! A Playboy connection! "They're gonna love it," says a city booster

By Mike Fleeman and Jessica Wedemeyer
September 18, 2009 09:50 AM
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Hank Baskett just hit the field for his first practice with his new team Thursday, but already Indianapolis is treating his wife Kendra Wilkinson like its own girl next door.

“They’re gonna fit in, and I think they’re gonna love it,” Chris Gahl, Associate Director of Communication for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, tells PEOPLE. “They’re gonna feel very embraced.”

WATCH: Kendra Credits Hank for Making Her a Better Person
Baskett’s agent, Jim Ivler, confirms to PEOPLE that the fourth-year wide receiver has signed a one-year deal to play for the Colts after he was released from the Philadelphia Eagles. “We got to pick and choose from among several teams,” says Ivler. “It’s not bad to be catching passes from Peyton Manning. Peyton had asked for Hank and wanted him to be there.”

Not Just Cornfields

But what does Indy have to offer Wilkinson, the pin-up star of her self-titled show Kendra, who is used to the comfortable confines (and hot parties) of the Playboy Mansion?

“We have a fun side as well,” insists Gahl. “Were not just cornfields in the middle of nowhere. We’re a thriving metropolis in an urban landscape that has clubs that stay open late and celebrities who come to town.”

For instance, there’s St. Elmos Steak House, which not only has a celebrity connection – James Gandolfini and Ty Pennington have been spotted there – but it’s also a good place to play company politics: It’s a favorite hangout for the guy throwing the ball to Baskett – Colts quarterback Manning. And next door there’s Harry and Izzy’s upscale grill, which happens to be co-owned by Manning.

Social Opportunities

And if the couple stick around for the famed Indianapolis 500 next May, Wilkinson may well feel right at home; Playboy sponsored a pre-race party this year at the Indy hotspot, the Conrad Hotel.

As for social activities, Wilkinson may now volunteer for fundraisers for schools and the needy as a member of the Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization, made up of the wives, daughters and girlfriends of players and coaches.

Still, there’s no rush to get settled into their new home: The Colts’ next two games are on the road, a nationally televised match in Miami on Monday night, then a game in Arizona on Sept. 27.

But when Indianapolis returns to play the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 4, Wilkinson gets a couple of perks that any Colts fan would envy: a free ticket to the game and free parking at the stadium.

Additional reporting by MARY GREEN