INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – The Big Ten Football championship game is just hours away from kick off and thousands of fans are pouring into downtown Indianapolis.
“We anticipate about 80,000 people in the city just to soak in all things Big Ten,” says Morgan Snyder of Visit Indy.
This is the fifth year the Big Ten football championship will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium and that profitable partnership will continue through 2021. This year Visit Indy expects $17 million to be pumped into the city in a three day span.
“Tickets are a virtual sell out for Big Ten hotels this year and hotels are a virtual sell out as well. We have 80,000 people coming into the city,” says Snyder.
University of Iowa and Michigan State fans are only about a four to five hour drive from Lucas Oil Stadium. So, both teams are coming in droves and spending a lot of cash downtown. Organizers say they are ready for the crowds.
“This city was designed to host large sporting events like this. We do it every year with 300,000 people in the month of May for the Indy 500. We have proved our worth as a sports city and we continue to do it with Big Ten events,” says Snyder.
One of Indy’s most well known conventions, Gen Con which attracts thousands of gaming enthusiasts just announced that they will expand into Lucas Oil Stadium next year. Bringing in more people and more revenue.
“it is fantastic. It shows that there is a growth in the conventions. People want to come to Indianapolis and be a part of these massive conventions. They know the experience they are going to get,” says Snyder.
Sports Corp and Visit Indy work daily on attracting new events into the city. Most of next years events are either booked or in the works.
“It had been a tremendously busy 2015 and 2016 is going to be even better,” says Jane Jankowski of Sport Corp.