INDIANAPOLIS — Less than two months to go until the College Football Playoff National Championship takes over Indianapolis, and we’ve found out what the entertainment will look like for the big weekend.
Doja Cat, AJR, Twenty One Pilots, Sam Hunt, Ava Max and Breland will perform in the days leading up to the championship game. The concerts will happen at Monument Circle and be completely free.
The A-list entertainment was the point of the announcement on Thursday but local fourth grader Amir Thompson stole the show.
Before the musical talent was annouced, Amir came on stage to help the CFP recognize the work being done in Indiana to support teachers.
In each city that hosts the College Football Playoff National Championship game, the CFP works to benefit schools and teachers through its initiative Extra Yard for Teachers.
Amir goes to Victory College Prep in Indy and his school recently got a library makeover thanks to the CFP.
”My favorite part of the library is the new books and the new seating areas,” Amir said.
Amir also took the time to shoutout several of his teachers for all they do for him.
”Those teachers are just like great teachers and they’re my homeroom teachers and they help me grow so much and help me throughout this journey,” he said.
The CFP also helped fund the Indiana Learning Lab, a digital resource now used by more than 22,000 Indiana teachers across the state.
”That surpassed our goals and we think by the time we get to June we’re going to be a much higher number,” said Susan Baughman, the Indianapolis Host Committee President
The learning lab, media room makeovers and several other initiatives to support teachers across Indiana will stick around long after the CFP has left Indianapolis.
”The legacy impact and the impact on teachers and educators will last a long, long time,” said Mark Howell, the Indianapolis Host Committee Chair.
But that’s not to discredit all of the fun happening the weekend leading up to the game. Playoff Fan Central will be free all weekend long at the Indiana Convention Center featuring family fun like games, youth sports, autograph signings and special guest appearances.
On Saturday, Jan. 8, the best players and coaches in the country will answer questions during Media Day. The event is also free and open to the public.
Sunday, Jan. 9 is set to be a full day with the Extra Yard 5k benefiting Extra Yard for Teachers. Each participant gets a medal and t-shirt but the top finishers for men and women get two tickets to the CFP National Championship game.
Sunday night will be Taste of the Championship, a premium dinner featuring 20 local chefs. All proceeds from this will go toward the Extra Yard for Teachers initiative, as well.
”You can come downtown, whether you’re going to the game or not, and have a whole weekend of celebration,” said Howell.
Something CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock said makes Indy unique compared to the seven previous host cities is “walkability.”
”You drive here, you park your car at your hotel on Friday and you don’t see your car again till Tuesday when you go home,” Hancock said.
Tens of thousands of football fans will make their way to Indy for the weekend, a surge in people sure to help the local economy.
”I think it’s going to be a great financial boom to the businesses, they have to fill all of the hotels. So, I think it’s really meaningful and it’s coming at a great time,” said Susan Baughman, Indianapolis Host Committee President.
Mark your calendar for all the fun on Jan. 8-10 along with the thousands of college football fans visiting the Circle City.