Indianapolis in bidding war to keep Big Ten Championship Game
Indy trying to keep Big Ten Championship – News 8 at 10
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the 13th consecutive year, Indianapolis will host the Big Ten Championship Game Saturday, when the Michigan Wolverines face-off against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Michigan could clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win.
Michigan fan Brandon Frye made the 4-hour drive from Ann Arbor to cheer on the Wolverines. It’s his first time visiting Indianapolis.
“It’s really nice,” Frye said. “I like how all the hotels and the convention center are connected together.”
It’s the convenience of downtown Indianapolis that Indiana Sports Corp officials believe make Indianapolis the ideal place to host the game.
Indiana Sports Corp Senior Director of Marketing Dan Gliot said his organization is bidding to host the game through 2028.
“No host city in America comes together, from the people the volunteers, the businesses, like Indianapolis,” said Gliot. “We’ve seen that over the years, from Final Fours to Big Ten Championships. We are the only city that hosts all of March Madness, it was here in central Indiana.”
The Indiana Sports Corp worked with the Indiana Convention Center, Visit Indy, and Lucas Oil Stadium on submitting the bid.
They listened to feedback from the league on how to build on the fan experience before and during the game.
“Every single year it’s gotten a little bit bigger based on that feedback we have gotten from the conference and also from the fans that come in every single year,” said Gliot.
UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington join the Big Ten next year. With that expanded footprint, Gliot said Las Vegas expressed interest in hosting the game. Other Midwest cities are expected to jump into the bidding fray.
Frye said it just wouldn’t feel like Big Ten football should the championship game be played on the West Coast.
“It’s a little Hollywood,” Frye said. “It kind of defeats the purpose of the blue-collar type of football that we do here. I kind of like that it’s here in Indianapolis. It’s the center of the college football world.”
Indiana Sports Corp estimates the Big Ten Championship Game has a $20 million economic impact on central Indiana.