Indy declines to host as neutral site for NFL's AFC Championship Game due to schedule conflict

Lucas Oil Stadium.PNG
Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 22:03:16-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Indianapolis will not be the neutral site for the NFL's upcoming AFC Championship game.

According to Chris Gahl, Executive Vice President of Visit Indy, the city had to turn down the opportunity to host the event because of an already packed schedule.

Gahl says the city already has an event on its calendar at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Jan. 28 weekend . That event, a national volleyball tournament hosted by Capitol Sports Center called The Central Zone Invitational, is expected to draw at least 20,000 people into downtown Indianapolis.

NFL clubs passed a resolution during a special league meeting on Friday that would allow them to play the AFC Championship Game at a neutral site "for the 2022 season only," if necessary.

The decision follows the NFL saying the Week 17 game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals would not resume. The game, which had playoff implications, was stopped after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest. The move is contingent on who ends up in the championship game.

If either the Bills, Bengals or Kansas City Chiefs end up in the title game and could have ended the regular season as the No. 1 seed, a neutral site will be selected by the NFL commissioner.

Other scenarios would lead to the game being played at the home stadium of the higher seed.