INDIANAPOLIS — As the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship descends on Indy, fans are filling local hotels and bars. It’s the type of profitable weekend the hospitality industry has been looking for.
“It’s just a way to say we are back after the pandemic. Just a chance to celebrate our city,” says Lisa Vielee, spokesperson for the Indy Host Committee, “Indianapolis really has a reputation of being the amateur sports capital of the world.”
The Indy Host Committee expects the big game to rake in $150 million of economic impact.
Hotels say they may play host to 100,000 fans and guests. Temperatures are expected to be chilly for downtown concerts like Doja Cat at Monument Circle. The weather could be seen as a negative, but area bars and restaurants are hoping the cold will push people into their establishments.
Spots like Hotel Indy are using their experiences from the Big Ten Championship to prepare for this weekend.
“We really saw people would come down, and just start their day with breakfast. Then they would roll into lunch, which would roll into happy hour, and onto dinner. Usually there is a break in service,” says Jocelyn Kraus, General Manager Hotel Indy.
Downtown is expected to be packed. Vielee says there are roughly 75,000 parking spots downtown, but they could fill up quickly. Fans should be prepared to walk a few blocks in the cold to reach their destinations.