Big Ten Championship Fan Fest preparations underway

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Setup is underway for the Big Ten championship game this weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium.

By Friday afternoon, the Convention Center will turn into a 200,000-square-foot football party for Fan Fest, featuring marching bands, interactive exhibits, youth football clinics and much more.

Fan Fest is free if you have a ticket to the game. If you do not, it costs $8 for adults and $4 for kids. It starts Friday at 3 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. It is also open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

This is the sixth year the Big Ten Football Championship has been held in Indianapolis. The Big Ten and Indiana Sports Corp have an agreement to host it in Indianapolis through 2021. It’s estimated that this championship weekend has a $17.3 million impact on the city.

“We have a great relationship with the Big Ten,” Indiana Sports Corp president Ryan Vaughn said. “Not only in football, but basketball and other sports as well — golf, soccer, you name it. They continue to use Indiana as a place to host the championships. It’s really important for us; it’s a great economic driver for the city, all the hotel rooms are sold out, the restaurants will be packed, we know from experience that our Wisconsin fans love to come and drink beer and have a good time. And so it really is just a great infusion of economic vitality for the city.”

For the adult fans, the Indiana Taps and Touchdown event returns for the third year Friday night at Pan Am Plaza. That event features local breweries, wineries and food. To purchase tickets, click here.

For the kids, the youth football clinics will start at 10:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They are free with a game ticket or Fan Fest ticket and are open to kids ages 5 through 8th grade.