Indy mulls bid for College Football Playoff title game

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – City leaders are considering a bid for college football’s national championship game.

Leaders with the Indiana Sports Corporation went to North Texas earlier this week to get a first-hand look at the planning and logistics that went into running the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

“It’s certainly an event that had great media exposure, has an opportunity to have a high community impact, but we have to evaluate all those other factors to make sure it’s the right fit for us at the right time,” Ryan Vaughn, the group’s president, said.

There are five factors the group will take into consideration before mounting a bid at the game.

They are looking at “what’s it going to cost for us to procure the event, what’s it going to cost to execute the event, timing and what kind of facilities demands are there, and then how creative and how much flexibility do we have to create legacy and community impact,” Vaughn said.

Representatives from at least five other cities were also in attendance Monday gathering facts about what it takes to host the big game, including Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Houston and Jacksonville, Susan Baughman, the corporation vice-president, said.

“They had a future host program, so for those of us trying to look at the event they did provide us transportation which was very helpful and made sure we had a list of the events that were going on, and offered us a tour of the stadium and the fanfest, things like that to get oriented,” she said.

All the major college bowl games, the so-called “New Year’s Six” bowls, are held in southern cities, and the Circle City currently does not host a college bowl game. But that would not deter a bid for the big game. The selection committee has already branched out from those six venues to choose a championship host city, selecting Tampa for the 2017 game.

For a city that has recently hosted the Super Bowl, Final Four and the Big Ten conference championship game, Vaughn says Indianapolis has the credentials to host the game.

“We’ve had great success with major events and we’re a northern city,” he said. “It’s really about the amount of community effort that goes into the event and really how you cater to your strengths.”

The next round of championship games up for bid are those to be held from 2018 to 2020. They would all be hosted on the second Monday in January in those respective years.

The Indiana Sports Corporation expects to receive the bid specifics in early February, and would likely need to decide on whether to bid by May. Host cities are expected to be selected in the fall.

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