The ball has officially been passed to Indianapolis as the city prepares to host the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. During a virtual “hand off” ceremony, Indy CFP Host Committee Board Chair Mark Howell said the event could generate $150 million in economic impact for central Indiana and, assuming the public health environment has returned to normal, more than 100,000 fans could descend upon downtown Indianapolis for the four-day event.
Howell said the host committee was unable to travel to this year’s national championship game in Miami due to the pandemic.
“There were no scheduled site observations. All the fan events had to be canceled and all press conferences were held virtually,” said Howell. “However, having said that, we’ve been in very close contact with the CFP staff in Miami and they have done an absolutely incredible job of managing their processes, keeping their teams and essential personnel in a safe environment.”
Howell said the committee is also calling for volunteers for the event, as between 1,500 and 2,000 volunteers will be needed. Those interested in volunteering are being encouraged to visit the volunteer page of the Indiana Sports Corp’s website.
And while specific details have not yet been announced, Howell says many events will take place over the four-day period.
“Our activities will include a championship campus in the heart of downtown Indy. We will hold free concerts, a fan fest, a media day free to the public and many, many more events,” he said.
Susan Baughman, president of the host committee, says the city is also focusing on its opportunity to support the CFP Foundation. She says the foundation’s goal is to use its Extra Yard for Teachers platform to “elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through four main focus areas.”
Those areas include providing resources to teachers, to enhance recruitment and retention of teachers, providing professional opportunities and development for teachers, and providing recognition for teachers.
The host committee has previously announced $1 million in funding from the CFP Foundation to support the Indiana E-Learning Lab, as well as Teach Indy, a partnership among Indianapolis Public Schools, The Mind Trust and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation.
Baughman also announced a third initiative to fund “extra yard makeovers” at four Indy area schools. The initiative identified the schools, which will receive makeovers to their media centers, based on criteria including the percentage of students from low-income households and the verified need for a media center makeover in that building.
“These makeovers will provide resources to schools to transform school spaces with enhanced technology and creative design to meet the demands of 21st Century teaching and learning,” said Baughman.
The schools receiving the makeovers include Garden City Elementary School in Wayne Township, James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy in Lawrence Township, Southport Middle School in Perry Township and Victory College Prep in Center Township.
Additionally, the Indy Championships Fund announced it had reached its fundraising goal of $25 million. The fund was first announced in 2017 as a means to support numerous high-profile sporting events over a four-year period, including the CFP National Championship.
Howell says the host committee was unable to travel to this year’s national championship game in Miami due to the pandemic.