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3-day College Football Championship helps hospitality businesses to recover

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — From Saturday through Monday, the streets will be buzzing with thousands of football fans from the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia.

News 8 spoke with Morgan Snyder, a spokesperson for Visit Indy, who said hotel rooms filled up quickly. “Hotels are a virtual sell-out; in central Indiana, are sold-out. We’ve seen College Football Playoff National Championship game tickets are sold-out. We know the fans are coming.”

About 100,000 people are expected in the downtown area for the Monday night game and events leading up to it.

The College Football Playoffs National Championships is estimated to generate $150 million. A large amount of spending will come from hotel rooms, transportation and dining, and entertainment, Snyder said.

“This is such a huge opportunity for our hospitality community to rebound, not only in the sheer number of visitors coming into the city and filling our hotels, but also from an employment perspective,” the Visit Indy spokesperson said.

Over the past two years, hotels and restaurants have adapted well to changes during the coronavirus pandemic and are still overcoming challenges that include insufficient staffing. To help accommodate, Visit Indy is working to help things run smoothly.

“We work very closely with our restaurant industry and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association to precommunicate what restaurants should be working with our restaurants. Letting them know what weekend times you will see an influx of visitors and trying to staff up and staff ahead,” Snyder said.

Even though downtown is the main attraction, Synder says, the influx of people is reaching the city’s outer perimeter. Neighboring establishments can handle any overflow.

“We have also seen some of those hotel needs trickle out into some of our nearby towns. From Noblesville, Franklin, Greenwood, hotels filling up and even a little bit further outside of that. So, it truly is an Indiana, central Indiana event that we are excited to host,” Snyder said.