Directors of Indiana Black Expo Inc. voted Thursday to assume management responsibilities for the Circle City Classic,
the annual October event in Indianapolis featuring a parade and football game between two historically black colleges.
The Classic, previously led by a volunteer committee under IBE’s direction, lost its executive director, Marc Williams, who resigned in October after just four months on the job. There are no immediate plans to replace him, IBE President and CEO Tanya Bell said in a statement.
With the move, IBE hopes to rejuvenate an event suffering from declining attendance. This year’s game at Lucas Oil Stadium drew roughly 36,000 spectators, its lowest turnout in years.
“A greater responsibility by the board and staff of IBE will allow for greater efficiencies and continued growth of the event — even during the most challenging times,” IBE Board Chairman Ray Henderson said in a statement.
Indiana Sports Corp., which helped launch the Classic in 1984, supports the decision to bring it under IBE’s command, the news release said.
The event typically attracts more than 70,000 visitors and brings $14.9 million in direct spending to the city, according to the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.
IBE presents the annual Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration, held in July.