Gymnastics stars draw big crowds to Indy for championships

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 13, 2015) -- Crowds packed downtown Indianapolis Thursday morning for the opening ceremonies of the 2015 P&G Gymnastics Championships. The event runs from August 13-16.

The last time Indy hosted a gymnastics competition was 2005. This year, event organizers are excited to be back home. USA Gymnastics' headquarters are in Indianapolis.

"This is the Super Bowl for USA Gymnastics. So there’s no better place to be than Indianapolis when you wanna be at a Super Bowl, "said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics.

Visit Indy estimates the weekend events will draw 35,000 people and bring in more than $8.2 million to the city.

The event is also expected to draw large crowds thanks in part to the Olympics stars competing, including Gabby Douglas, Alexandra Raisman, and Kyla Ross.

“There’s a buzz in the gymnastics world and certainly those elite stars, those elite athletes are here in Indianapolis to compete," said Chris Gahl, vice president of marketing and communications for Visit Indy.

Families are visiting Indy for the weekend's events, coming from across the country.

Thur Sherman and her family of gymnasts travel all across the country for gymnastic events.

“We’ve gone to almost every one of them, from the Olympic trials, to the Olympics, to P&G’s for the last 25 years," Sherman said.

She said she's impress with Indy's layout and the convenience from the convention center, where a trade show is held, to Georgia Street, where there's a fan fest, leading into Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the championships.

“The downtown area is very close to walking distance to everything and the arena and activities that they have here leading up to Rio is wonderful," Sherman said.

Gahl said Indy's walkable atmosphere is always high up on the list for conventions and events and helped the city land the championships this year.

"Within a few blocks of this tourism corridor, it’s fan festivities and the business and the event and really shows off the facilities," said Gahl.

For more on the P&G Gymnastics Championships, click here.

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