2015 Final Four will provide economic punch

(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)
(WISH Photo/Brett Bensley)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This year’s Final Four is in the books. Next up is next year’s Final Four right here in the Circle City.

Basey’s Downtown Grill — which sits in the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the 2015 NCAA Final Four — is looking forward to next year.

“It’s huge.  I mean it’s not only good for myself and the family, but it’s big for the staff. It’s big for the community,” says Greg Basey, owner of the restaurant.

The city estimates $50 million dollars will be spent in Indianapolis during Final Four weekend.

“And it’s not just the one’s that want to watch the game,” says Basey. “It’s the one’s that come into town to be a part of it.”

“The Final Four for Indianapolis is our sweet spot. It’s what we are deliberately designed to host,” says Bob Schultz, vice president of marketing for Indianapolis Downtown Inc.

He says the city’s compact downtown design, with quick and easy access to its sports venues, is no accident. And it has made events like the Final Four successful. But it requires that the city continue to raise the bar and do it even better.

“The concert series.  Bracket town. The youth and community initiatives.  A number of things continue to get bigger,” says John Dedman, speaking from North Texas where he and a contingent from Indianapolis attended this year’s Final Four.

Dedman says what he noticed is that the events outside of the games continue to grow.  And they will be even bigger in Indianapolis next year.  Lucas Oil Stadium, he says, will be set for a full house.

“We will put the court kind of in the center of the football field, as opposed to the south end zone as we did a week ago for the regionals. Our capacity is in the neighborhood of 70,000 for the Final Four,” he says.

No specifics have been released yet on what will make 2015 bigger and better, but John Dedman says expect announcements in the months leading up to the big weekend.  The 2015 Final Four is the last that Indy has locked up. 2016 is in Houston and after that, 2017-2020 are open for bid. Dedman says the Sports Corp is already putting the pieces in place to make its bid to host one of those.

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