Big Ten Championship Begins to 'Build a Base'

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Pre-game festivities underway in downtown Indianapolis for this weekend's Big Ten Football Championship and Co-Chair Melanie Green says the goal of "continuous improvement" for fans of the sixth annual event remains. Organizers are projecting an $18.5 million economic impact this year on the heels of last year's Iowa-Michigan State contest that was the first sell-out since the event launched in 2011. In a recent interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, she said the game continues to draw a wider range of fans.

The game is under contract for Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium through 2021 and Green says Indianapolis is well-suited for it. "It's something that Indianapolis prides ourself on. It's just something about that community, professional volunteerring that we have, that pride in what we're able to bring to the city," Green told Benner in the Business of Health.

She says 66,000 fans attended last year's game and 40,000 people participated in the many Fan Fest activities on Friday and Saturday night. Volunteer opportunities and projects have also become a hallmark of the weekend. Green says the Championship is "starting to build a base" of attendees from all Big Ten schools, not just fans of the teams playing.

Hotels are sold-out in advance of the game and a limited number of tickers are still available. Penn State will take on Wisconsin at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday night at 8:17.

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