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Indianapolis Seeks to Renew Big Ten Championship Contract

Brock Fritz Headshot

Indianapolis will have to beat out several competitors in order to continue to host the Big Ten Conference football championship game past the 2021 season.

The 10-year contract Indianapolis signed with the Big Ten in 2011 will expire in two years, leaving room for other cities to host the championship game each December.

“Certainly Detroit and Minneapolis we know for a fact will be enthusiastic about bidding on this opportunity,” Indiana Sports Corporation President Ryan Vaughn said on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick. “We don’t take it for granted, we intend to compete very hard and keep it here permanently.”

Indianapolis is going to do its best to keep the game that has been an economic boon each year since the conference picked it as a host in 2011, when the Big Ten held the first championship game in its 115-year history.

The Indiana Sports Corporation estimated that Ohio State’s 34-21 win over Wisconsin last weekend resulted in a $19.5 million economic impact in the region. The 66,649 fans in attendance were the second-highest crowd in the history of college football championship games, according to the Big Ten.

Vaughn estimates that first nine years of the Big Ten Championship has had a total economic impact of about $200 million to Indianapolis.

Vaughn announced the Indy Championship Fund in 2017, a $25 million effort for a four-year stretch of events “unlike anything Indianapolis has enjoyed in the past.” The city will host the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, the 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend and the 2022 College Football National Championship game, which would result in an estimated $670 million economic impact.

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