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Alabama, Georgia fans buy up downtown hotel rooms for CFP National Championship

Game expected to have $150 million economic impact
JW Marriott
Posted at 6:13 PM, Jan 01, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — Alabama and Georgia will head to Indianapolis in less than two weeks with both hoping to win the College Football Playoff National Championship title.

Thousands of fans are expected to flood Indianapolis streets for the big game.

Earlier this week, hotel officials told WRV they were preparing for rooms to sell out.

Within hours of Friday night's semifinial games, that's exactly what happened.

In less than 24 hours, dozens of downtown Indianapolis hotels sold out.

WRTV checked with more than 30 hotels who said they're completely booked.

"We sold out incredibly quickly. I blinked and they were gone," said a staff member at Hilton Garden Inn.

Staff at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown say they were surprised to see how fast rooms sold out ahead of the National Championship game on Jan. 10.

"It's awesome actually. We love big city-wide events this is rare one being a championship," the staff member said.

It will be a sea of red and white as thousands of Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldog fans show up in a couple of weeks for the big game.

The Hilton Garden Inn staff member said fans without a room won't have much luck downtown as most are sold out on Jan. 9-10.

There is limited availability outside downtown.

"We just wish we had more room to be able to give to the public," she said.

Susan Baughman, president of the College Football Playoff Indianapolis Host Committee, said the game is expected to have more than a $150 million economic impact.

“On behalf of Indianapolis and the Host Committee, we could not be more excited to welcome the Georgia and Alabama teams and their loyal fan bases to Indianapolis,” Baughman said. "This will be the first time either football team has competed inside Lucas Oil Stadium, and therefore we have the opportunity to show off our city to the thousands of fans who have potentially never visited Indy.

“For fans who want to enjoy the festivities, who may not have a game ticket, there’s a long list of free events to enjoy including concerts and the Fan Central. We anticipate over 100,000 visitors to the city for the big game, not including the 1,000 credentialed media, sponsors, and over 2,000 volunteers. Early estimates show that this game could bring in over $150 million in economic impact.”

Hotel staff members say they're ready for the crowds.

"It's really cool and it's a privilege for Indianapolis to be able to host such an event all bring a lot of money to the city of Indianapolis and we love to give that back anyway we can. Visit Indy does a lot of great events," the staff member said.

For fans who want to be apart of the big game but don't have tickets, Visit Indy has a long list of free events including concerts and Fan Central.

Anne Dunlavy with the J.W. Marriott told WRTV Monday, teams have visited their facilities. She says teams have their own COVID-19 protocols and they are working closely with each team to follow them.