Visit Indy works to attract fans from Final Four cities

FILE- In this March 16, 2015, file photo, workers add team names to a 2015 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament bracket that is displayed on the side of the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. With the Final Four a week away from shining a spotlight on Indianapolis, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday, March 26, that the governing body for college sports is concerned about an Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — People from around the country are planning their trip to Indianapolis, now that the Final Four is set.

With less than a week to go, leaders in Indianapolis are working to attract fans from all four teams. The city is expecting about 70,000 people to arrive in Indianapolis by Saturday.

While lots of them will be here with tickets to the games at Lucas Oil Stadium, Visit Indy is making sure fans know there are lots of other options. Visit Indy is advertising in each specific college town — Lexington, Madison, Durham and East Lansing. Visit Indy is planting stories in each city about what all there is to do in Indy, even if you don’t have tickets to the games.

Visit Indy will point out all the local restaurants, bars and breweries where fans can go watch the games. Things like the Cultural Trail, Pacers Bike Share, the IMS, NCAA Hall of Champions and all the fun on Georgia Street will also be huge selling points for the city.

The goal is to bring fans into Indianapolis for Final Four weekend. But by spreading the word about we have to offer, Visit Indy hopes to attract people to Indianapolis for future events.

“Our message will be, if we can host the Final Four, if we can host events like the Indy 500, then we’re confident that we can host your convention or event,” said Chris Gahl with Visit Indy.

Another draw will be the free concert series happening at White River State Park. Rihanna, Imagine Dragons, the Zach Brown Band and several other big-name artists will all be performing. Fans can watch the games at the park in between concerts.

Even after the weekend rolls around, Visit Indy will still be selling the city, hoping to attract future events. Representatives will work with the 800+ media members who will be here from all around the country, working to make sure they see all that Indy has to offer. Downtown’s walk-ability and convenience for guests are key selling points. 

“This downtown was deliberately designed with weekends like the Men’s Final Four in mind. The fact that all our hotels are connected, that keeps us competitive. That keeps us winning bids like the Final Four and future Final Fours,” said Gahl.

Gahl said since Indy hosted the Final Four in 2010, the NCAA’s footprint has really grown. Plus, this year the fan fest and other side events, like the free concerts at White River State Park, will be even bigger and better than five years ago. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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