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Indianapolis could become 'the next big thing' thanks to 2024 events and tourism, Visit Indy hopes

The city is hosting the NBA All-Star Game, Taylor Swift concerts, U.S. Olympic Swim Trials this year.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Salesforce Tower
Posted at 11:24 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 09:48:40-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Millions of tourists are expected to come to Indianapolis in 2024, and the city hopes to give them a first impression that lasts a lifetime.

Visit Indy outlined the upcoming events at its annual State of Tourism event on Thursday.

Highlights include the NBA All-Star Game next month, the total solar eclipse in April, the United States Olympic Swim Trials in June, and three Taylor Swift concerts in November.

"We're always going to put the pedal to the metal to make Indy the next big thing," said Visit Indy president Leonard Hoops.

The event featured keynote speaker John Green, an author who regularly highlights Indianapolis in TikTok posts.

"We need to make bold investments, but this is a great town. I do feel defensive about it," Green said. "I feel a little bit like how you're allowed to make fun of your little brother but nobody else is."

Bruno Penagos is visiting Indianapolis from Texas for several months due to his job. He said he has not explored Indianapolis much yet, but likes what he has seen.

"I love the downtown area, it's very unique," Penagos said. "You don't see a roundabout like this often in downtown areas, so it's pretty cool."

Visit Indy believes they know the key to a good first impression with out-of-towners.

"It's all about Hoosier hospitality," Clare Clark of Visit Indy said. "It's making sure that when visitors come to the city of Indianapolis, it's an unforgettable experience."

Penagos wanted to come back to Indiana after a prior job assignment in the Hoosier state.

"I like Fort Wayne, my first program was there two and a half years ago," Penagos said. "When they told me I was coming to Indianapolis, I figured it would be something similar, but a little bit bigger."

Green hopes more people see Indianapolis not just as a place to see a game or go to a convention, but a place to call home.

"I'm a tour guide but also an enthusiast," Green said. "Anybody who visits us from anywhere, I don't just give them the tour, I tell them there are homes for sale right now."