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Behind the scenes of Fan Central for College Football Playoff

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — College Football Playoff championship weekend is nearly here, and there’s plenty to do even if you don’t have a ticket to the game.

People are working around the clock to set up downtown. News 8 got a behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening to the Indiana Convention Center.

As soon as you enter the Convention Center, you’ll see there’s a crew of 100 to 150 people are working to transform it into Fan Central, the ultimate activity hub. Fans can pick from nearly 30 different venues and stages.

“What I love about Playoff Fan Central is all the different things you can do and take away. The Panini trading card company will be doing a 5-by-7 trading card of players playing in the game. Plus, fans can make their own trading card. They have a photo booth. That’s a nice little takeaway,” said Elon Werner, Playoff Fan Central media coordinator.

The college football championship weekend is estimated to bring $150 million in revenue to Indianapolis. So, no expense was spared to make the biggest tailgate of the year come to life.

Morgan Snyder, a spokesperson for the local organization Visit Indy, said, “We’ve seen tourism and the hospitality industry where we started over two years ago with nearly 83,000 in the hospitality industry and then the pandemic with about 40% of that hospitality workforce having to stay at home. But events like this are what bring those workers back in.”

The host committee announced Thursday it is partnering with a company to produce a five-minute drone light show. The show will include imagery of the teams’ helmets, mascots, an Indianapolis skyline, a countdown clock, and simulated fireworks.

“There have been so many surprises and delight activations that we have put together for this weekend that it just adds to the element of the fan experience and makes this so much more than a game,” Snyder said.