Indy Sports Strategy Still Paying Dividends

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Sports, business and community leaders expect the 2022 College Football Playoff Championship Game to have substantial economic impact in Indianapolis, both on and off the field. Officials expect to credential thousands of media from around the globe who will help shine a spotlight on Indianapolis for the game and four days of festivities, which are expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors to Indy. Indiana Sports Corp. President Ryan Vaughn says economic impact projections are conservative. "The game itself already has an economic impact of $150 million," said Vaughn. "Five years from now, we expect that to grow substantially."

In an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Vaughn and Visit Indy Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hoops said the Indianapolis sports strategy, launched some forty years ago, continues to be a winner for Indy.

Unlike typical big sporting events, there was not a bid process to host college football’s biggest game. Rather, Indianapolis was invited to host the 2020 game. "They contacted us and said we love Indy and we'd love to be there in 2022, can you make it happen," said Vaughn, who says the call prompted Indianapolis business, political and community leaders to leap into action, putting together a package in less than five weeks.

Vaughn tells inside INdiana Business that local organizers anticipate raising about $16 million in private funds to host the 2022 game, but adds that number could go higher. He said no new hotels or infrastructure are needed.

The local Host Committee for the event will be chaired by Angie's List Chief Operating Officer Mark Howell. Citizens Energy Group Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harrison will serve as vice chair and Indiana Sports Corporation Senior Vice President Susan Baughman will serve as president.

Texas-based College Football Playoff is the organization that runs the game, which pits the winners of two semi-final bowl games head-to-head on a Monday night, nationally-televised match-up. Executive Director Bill Hancock says the goal was to play the game in 10 different cities during the first 10 years of the format, which launched in 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"The CFP National Championship is one of the most popular sporting events in the United States and we're proud to bring the game to fans in different regions of the country," said Hancock in a news release. "Each of the four cities chosen met or exceeded our standards for selection.

The new batch of cities awarded the championship game includes:

2021: Miami-South Florida (Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida)
2022: Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana)
2023: Los Angeles (Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California)
2024: Houston (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas)

This year's game will be played in Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, followed by Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara in 2019, California and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in 2020. The first games were played in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

A fan fest and themed music, food and tailgating festivities will be part of a four-day event that will begin Friday, January 7, leading up to the national championship game in Lucas Oil Stadium Monday, January 10, 2020.

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