INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 6, 2015) — It’s been a busy weekend in the Circle City leading up to the NCAA championship game Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Before Duke and Wisconsin tip-off at 9:18 p.m., there are still plenty of events happening throughout the day.
Fan Fest opens at noon at the Indiana Convention Center and runs until 8 p.m. There’s a pep rally planned for both of the teams along with more autograph sessions and games. Former Duke star Christian Laettner will be signing autographs along with other stars like Clyde Drexler and Miles Simon.
Throughout the weekend, 70,000 people were expected to be in Indianapolis, spending an about $71 million dollars between hotels and restaurants. The last time Indy hosted a Final Four Men’s Tournament was in 2010 when Duke won the championship. At that time, about 60,000 people came through spending about 55 million dollars. City officials say we’ve already beat those figures this weekend, but the exact numbers haven’t been determined yet.
When the Wildcats’ season came to an unexpected end, some fans were left with championship game tickets they no longer wanted. Some have wondered — with all the well-traveled Kentucky fans leaving — would it hurt the economic figures? Officials say they don’t believe that’s the case and say there’s still a lot for people to do on Monday.
“Fans who no longer want their tickets, say their team loses like UK or Michigan State, those get officially put on the exchange, fair market value, put in to the hands of other fans,” Chris Gahl from Visit Indy explained.
“It’s been a great weekend, the local community has really been able to engage in some fan events and we’re really excited about tonight’s championship game, putting an exclamation point on a great weekend,” said John Dedman of Indy Sports Corp.
FOX59 News talked to Badger fans in town from Wisconsin who were already out and about Monday morning long before the game.
“It’s been really an exciting ride for our family, for the school for the state and Indy has been wonderful, there’s been so many things to do,” said Badger fan Glen Go.
Officials will meet with NCAA organizers on Tuesday to tally up totals for the number of tickets sold. You can watch the championship game on CBS4 at 9:18 p.m.