INDIANAPOLIS – City leaders are confident Indianapolis is ready to host 100,000 guests for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, with several events set for championship weekend.
“The world will be focused on Indianapolis this weekend,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The mayor called it an “enormous honor” and a “huge point of pride” for the city to be the center of the “college sports universe” in back-to-back years. Indy hosted the March Madness tournament in 2021.
No. 1 Alabama will play No. 3 Georgia at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday, Jan. 10.
Hogsett said there would be several events for fans to attend this weekend, with most of them being held outdoors. The COVID-19 pandemic remains top of mind.
“Our primary concern is making sure visitors and residents alike can participate in these festivities safely,” he said. “We’re asking that attendees follow the instructions from law enforcement and from public health experts and public health officials and continue to reduce the risk of any spread of COVID-19.”
He urged people to “practice the basics” by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene and staying home if they’re not feeling well.
College Football Playoff banners are hanging around the city. Hogsett said Indy Snow Force was prepared in the event of inclement weekend weather.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said he was grateful to be back in Indianapolis. He lived in the city for three years while serving as director of the NCAA Final Four. Hancock said Indianapolis is a tremendous host city for any sporting event.
“We have full confidence that what we’ve put together will be successful, and that we’ll wind up on Tuesday morning thinking we had a safe and exhilarating event for all the fans who will come to know Hoosier hospitality and Hoosier safety and Hoosier security in the same way that I’ve come to know it through the years.”
Hancock echoed Hogsett’s comments and urged fans to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Susan Baughman, president of the Indianapolis host committee, ran down some of the events visitors and residents can expect over the weekend.
Monument Circle will host “Playoff Playlist Live,” a series of live, free concerts on the north spoke of the Circle. Acts will include Doja Cat and AJR on Saturday, Jan. 8, and Twenty One Pilots and Ava Max on Sunday, Jan. 9.
On Monday, Jan. 10, Sam Hunt will perform, along with BRELAND as Monument Circle transforms into the Allstate Championship Tailgate.
Fans will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis; those unable to attend can catch livestreams of the via CFP All Access and AT&T social and digital platforms.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department emphasized that the concerts are free and don’t require any physical tickets. They urged visitors who see people trying to sell tickets to contact them.
A unique act will also perform on Saturday and Sunday. Fans will have to look up to the top of the Salesforce Tower as six dancers from BANDALOOP perform with a four-minute display of lights and sound while descending from the 49th to the 23rd floor of the tower.
“It’s going go the be the most exciting thing I think we’ve ever seen on Monument Circle,” Baughman said. “This has never been done before and I help everyone comes down to see it.”
All concerts and performances are free.
The Indiana Convention Center will host Playoff Fan Central, which will feature games and clinics, pep rallies, performances from team bands, autograph sessions, exhibits and more.
Three Delta nonstop flights to Indianapolis have been added from Birmingham, Savannah and Huntsville to get fans to and from the game.