INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The dashing, lifting, shuttling and leaping — it’s that time again in Indianapolis. On Monday, 337 world class 2020 NFL Draft prospects begin their weeklong excursion at the NFL Scouting Combine downtown.
On Sunday, Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay spoke out on a few key talkers this week — including an eye-popping data point behind the machine that is the National Football League.
“Do you guys realize that over the next five years, we (NFL teams) will roughly spend $40 billion on player costs?”
“$40 billion as a league.”
Meanwhile, the most important microscope in sports shifts to primetime television beginning Thursday night. Workouts under the lights at Lucas Oil Stadium will try to heighten the buzz to a new level. Lurking behind the scenes is Indianapolis’ secret weapon as a host: A clean, convenient week for all parties.
“If you talk to general managers, coaches and team doctors — no one does it like we can do it here,” Irsay said. “I think particularly medically … that is a strength and the centralization of downtown is a strength. It is a big economic impact for this city. We don’t take that lightly.”
During Sunday’s half an hour question and answer session, Irsay said he was aware of the quote ‘provocative’ arguments on social media that point towards the NFL taking the combine away from Indianapolis. He dismissed some as pure speculation.
This week, there is no secret behind this: Irsay will be busy canvassing fellow owners to keep the combine in his backyard beyond it’s current contract which expires after 2021.
“I think it is important to remember that there are traditions that stay in place,” Irsay said. “I see us locking it up long term…No one can do it as good as us. In the end, isn’t that what it is about? I will fight for Indy tooth and nail to keep it here.”
The bout continues.