Next week’s College Football Playoff National Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs is set. Host city Indianapolis is primed to cash in.
The matchup, which will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium on Jan. 10, could drive a regional economic impact of more than $150 million, the Indy Host Committee estimated.
- The city anticipated that more than 100,000 fans would travel for the game and associated events.
- Within 24 hours of the semifinals on New Years Eve, “dozens” of hotels in downtown Indianapolis sold out.
It’s the second major NCAA event the city has hosted in the last 12 months — the entire Division I men’s basketball tournament was held in a semi-bubble environment last March and early April.
One expert previously estimated that the 2021 men’s March Madness would also bring in more than $100 million.
The highly contagious Omicron variant poses a major concern — it already caused several bowl game cancellations.
But the CFP has a contingency plan in case the variant affects Georgia or Alabama: The championship could be postponed up to Jan. 14.
The virus may only have a minimal impact on fan attendance, if initial hotel numbers are any indication, but there may be fewer media members as the CFP will only allow virtual availability.