INDIANAPOLIS— The Indiana Sports Corps is working to keep the Big Ten Football Championship in Indianapolis. On Friday, bids were due to the Big Ten Conference.
Indy has hosted the game since its inception in 2011 and it will be played through 2024. The bid is for 2025 through 2028.
"Whenever we bid on an event, even if we’ve hosted it in the past, we always act like we’ve never hosted it before. Really re-informing the Big Ten Conference on how Indy does things, activating our downtown, getting our community involved, our volunteers are fantastic they really come out for these games," said Sarah Myer, with the Indiana Sports Corps.
According to Visit Indy, the game brings around 70,000 fans to Downtown Indy, which is a $20 million economic impact.
Below you can watch the bid video from Indiana Sports Corp:
"It’s a fairly consistent number each year because we see hotels pretty much at a sell out in downtown. Last year, in 2022, we were at a 94 percent occupancy rate, so fans come into the city, they stay at our hotels, Airbnbs, they go out to eat, they fill the space in Indianapolis," said Morgan Snyder with Visit Indy.
WRTV spoke with the District Tap. Brent Drescher, the assistant general manager, says it's their busiest weekend of the year. Losing the game would be a big hit.
"Our capacity is 400 and we’re pretty much packed from opening bell," said Drescher.
This bid process will be more competitive. The Indiana Sports Corps says that's because of the expansion of the Big Ten Conference. In 2024, the Big Ten will have 18 teams.
"You have UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington, so we’re going to have some of that competition from the west coast cities so it’s probably going to be the most competitive bid process we’ve seen here in quite a while for this game," said Myer.
The Indiana Sports Corps is asking fans to use #B1GInIndy to share memories and favorite moments from the Big Ten Championship games.
We just finished one big event here in Indy, and we already have our eyes on another.— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) September 18, 2023
Indy has hosted the Big Ten Football Championship since 2011. As Indy bids on future years to host this event, we want the Big Ten to know – we have and always will go #B1GInIndy.#ThisIsIndy pic.twitter.com/zi9jUUrXWv
Las Vegas has been vocal about bidding for the game, but the Big Ten Conference said in a statement they had no other information to provide on other cities that have placed bids.
A spokesperson said in an email, "In selecting championship locations, we look at a number of factors that will best serve our student-athletes, fans and supporters. We review site proposals then make a recommendation to Athletic Directors, and the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors makes the final decision."