INDIANAPOLIS — The college football world is just days from descending on Indianapolis for the College Football Playoff Championship game.
More than a hundred thousand fans are expected to visit the city this weekend, but what makes the Circle City the perfect spot for the biggest game of the college football world? We asked the people who live here.
”You have plenty of hotels right downtown,” said Michael Huie, a man who lives downtown amid those hotels.
Brandy Roberson has lived in Indianapolis her whole life and watched it grow into what it is today.
”There is actually pretty much anything you want in the downtown area,” Roberson said.
Another man we talked to works on Monument Circle and said they’re all excited for the game and ready to be great hosts.
”Hospitality is great,” Darryl said.
Roberson said Indianapolis is really starting to get the recognition it deserves.
”Finally Nap is on the map, i’ll say that,” Roberson said with a laugh.
She said she’s watched Indy grow, improving along the way, and hosting bigger and bigger events.
”Ever since the Super Bowl it’s been pretty much more of an attractive sight to see,” she said.
Mark Howell, the Chairman of the College Football Playoff Host Committee said from more than a century of Indianapolis 500s to hosting the entire Men’s College Basketball Tournament last year – Indy is built for this.
”We are perfectly equipped to host huge crowds and crown champions,” Howell said.
Everyone we spoke with agrees, downtown Indianapolis is literally built to host, with one of the best aspects being how easy it is to get around.
”I can literally walk everywhere and the only time I ever drive is to go to work,” said Huie.
”It’s pretty accessible, whatever it is you want you can get in the downtown area,” Roberson added.
Howell said visitors won’t even need cars once they get to their hotels.
”They are not going to get back into a car until they leave for the airport on Tuesday,” he said.
Another bonus folks we talked to mentioned, not what’s built in Indianapolis but who lives in Indianapolis.
”How kind we are in Indianapolis, how friendly we are here,” said Daryl, he said people will be impressed with Hoosier hosipitality.
Daryl said he’s prepared for the huge crowds this weekend to come by the business he works at
”It’s going to be crazy,” he said.
Howell said the Circle City will make an impression on visitors well beyond the final score of the football game.
”Our goal is when these fans live here on Tuesday, they’re already thinking about their next trip to Indianapolis,” he said.
But it’s not just about the fans, Howell said something they learned from hosting March Madness is how to best care for the teams competing.
”We don’t want the players and their families and the coaching staffs to feel isolated, we want to keep them safe but we also want to give them great opportunities to enjoy themselves,” Howell said.
Ultimately, Howell said this weekend should give Hoosiers pride in their city, something others say they can already feel.
”We were once unknown and now we’re finally getting some recognition,” Roberson said.
Howell added this game, even though it is huge, is also just another building block for the next best event to happen here in Indy.