Make your home page

Indy hopes to keep the Big Ten football championship. Here’s how you can help.

Push to keep Big Ten Football Championship in Indy – News 8 at 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis leaders want to keep the Big Ten football championship game, and they’re making an unprecedented move to boost their case.

The Indiana Sports Corp confirmed to News 8 on Wednesday morning that it will bid to host the 2025-2028 Big Ten football championship games at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Big Ten has set a deadline of Friday for cities to bid to host those games.

Indianapolis has hosted every Big Ten football championship game since its inception in 2011. The championship brings an estimated economic impact from $22 million to $25 million to Indianapolis each year. Indianapolis is set to host the Big Ten football championships in 2023 and 2024.

“The Big Ten fanbase – and even the athletes – have come to know that Indy is the ultimate goal that first weekend in December, every year,” said Sarah Myer, chief marketing officer for Indiana Sports Corp.

With the conference expansion to include West Coast teams, other cities including Las Vegas have publicly confirmed plans to bid on the championship events.

Myer said, “With this particular bid, we feel we need to do things differently. We need to advocate for ourselves and tell everyone why we think the Big Ten needs to stay here.”

The Indiana Sports Corp asked key corporate supporters and fans to post selfies and videos to social media with the hashtag #B1GInIndy.

News 8 Sports Director Anthony Calhoun called Indianapolis the perfect host city for the Big Ten.

“Nobody hosts big sporting events like our great city, and the Big Ten Football Championship has become the fabric of why the first weekend in December is so special to the Hoosier State,” Calhoun said. “It would be a disappointment to see it depart from a place that many of the Big Ten Schools call their second home.”

Community members say Indianapolis is the perfect place for the Big Ten and they want everyone to spread the word.

Morgan Snyder, the senior director of public relations at Film Indy, said, “We know this event well; we do it well. The city loves the Big Ten, and through Indiana Sports Corp’s leadership we’re really hopeful we can extend their stay in Indianapolis through 2028.”

Calhoun said, “It has become the fabric of this community. The first weekend of December and to see the championship go away that would be a disappointment for so many Big Ten schools that pretty much call this city their second home.”

They say the championship has made a positive impact on the city’s economy.

According to Snyder, downtown hotels during the 2022 championship were 94% occupied during the championship.

Snyder said, “Businesses like St. Elmo Steak House find these really unique events to capitalize on that many people in the city.”

“Hotels get all decked out for the Big Ten football championship.”

It’s also become a favorite tradition for a lot of fans.

Myer said, “It’s not really just about the dollars, but it’s really about the meaning, the memories that have been made here, and the collaboration that has been done to keep it here and make it such a wonderful experience.”

In 2023, the Big Ten conference moved the women’s basketball tournament to Minneapolis. The women’s tournament had been held in Indianapolis since 2015.