Buckeye success scores for Indy

March 13, 2009
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Now that IU is out of the Big Ten basketball tournament, local organizers and tourism officials have to hope that Ohio State can make a run. A successful run by Purdue probably wouldn't hurt either, but history has shown that Buckeye fans will travel to Indianapolis if their team has tournament success.

In the four years the tournament has been held at Conseco Fieldhouse, the attendance has been way up in the two years OSU made the finals. And that had nothing to do with Greg Oden and Mike Conley.

Tournament attendance here was a record 94,402 in 2002, the year OSU beat Iowa in the title game. Attendance was 90,763 when the Buckeyes lost to Iowa in 2006.

By comparison, attendance at the 2004 tournament in Indianapolis was 77,012 when Wisconsin beat Illinois in the finals. And in 2008, when Wisconsin again beat Illinois in the finals, tournament attendance was 80,012. You would think the fans from Illinois would flock to Indy, but the numbers prove otherwise.

In 2004, the title game drew 14,617 and in 2008, the title game drew 14,579. Compare that to 2002, when a record 18,996 stuffed Conseco Fieldhouse, and in 2006 when 17,591 fans poured in to see the championship game.

With the economy the way that it is, sports business experts think the tournament could be in for a rough road financially this year. So excuse the folks with the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association and downtown hotels and restaurants and other retail outlets today if they are wearing Buckeye red. There appears to be lots of economic reasons  to be rooting for Ohio State this weekend.

Ohio State squares off against Wisconsin today at 2:30 p.m.
  • Further evidence that Buckeye fans are the best fans in the land! :)
  • O - H!
  • We didn't build Conseco for the benefit of Ohio State fans. If the downtown bars are big enough whores go around putting up Buckeye colors they can expect us to stay away later on. As it is the Big Ten tournament the local infrastructure should have the appearance of neutrality. Indianapolis should support Indiana colleges.

    A couple years ago the Colts played the Steelers here in the playoffs. All you bars who had your people pandering to Steelers fans by wearing Steelers gear, tell me how your sales were the next weekend when the Colts were out and Steelers were playing somewheres else.
  • First, I am an IU fan...

    No one is saying turn all of the bars into 'Buckeye Bars'. Be realistic about the fact that Ohio State fans travel better than any other Big Ten university.

    Why do you think Ohio State gets invited to a BCS bowl game every year, when it is sometimes debatable if they deserve it or not? It's all about how well they travel as a fan base.

    Show a little support for all of the teams while in town. A little hospitality goes a long way in getting these fans to come back year after year.
  • The last post seems to have missed the point which has nothing to do with Indianapolis bars pandering to OSU fans. What it has to do with is OSU fans coming to Indianapolis to see their team fan which in turn generates venue for the city.
    Also as a host city to the Big Ten Tournament Indianapolis welcomes all fans and I believe each team has a bar where fans can gather. This is not done to pander to fans outside the state but as a gesture to make out of state fans feel welcome in our city, have a place to gather and be with other fans.
    Also remember not everyone in this city went to IU or Purdue or is from Indiana. I work or have worked with people who have graduated from Illinois, Wisconsin and MSU not to mention schools outside the Big Ten. Also some people who grew up in Pittsburg as long time PSU or Steelers fans now live here so tem give people a break and be a bit more open minded.
  • I didn't mean Say Anything's post who must have posted as I was typing - I meant tem's post #3.
  • Tem,

    Perhaps you should go back to school and take some courses in Economics so you will understand how these arrangemenst work for the benefit of our great city. Besides, when did it go out of favor to be hospitable and gracious to visitors? Isn't that what Hoosier Hospitality is all about?
  • I-O! GO BUCKS!
  • Someone grows up in Pittsburgh he is a Steelers fan, that's fine. If he moves to Indiana he should be a Colts fan. Round up all the Steelers fans around here and put them on a bus and dump them in Cleveland, they know what to do with Steelers fans there.
  • If Buckeye red means long green for central Indiana businesses ... well, then I say, Go Bucks!!! And it looks like Purdue will make the finals as well. It could be a banner weekend for downtown businesses. And with everything going on with Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Capital Improvement Board, the good taxpayers of central Indiana can use all the cash infusion we can get. Remember these events add to the ticket tax, restuarant tax and hotel tax till. We need every dime. Rooting for a strong economic impact shows no disloyalty at all. Quite the contrary. It helps everything Indy.
  • Someone grows up in Pittsburgh he is a Steelers fan, that’s fine. If he moves to Indiana he should be a Colts fan.

    So if someone here in Indiana grows up a Colts fan, and moves to Boston, they should be a Patriots fan?

    That idea is dumb.

    I didn't gow up here, and I don't think it is a problem that I root for the team I have rooted for since childhood.
  • All I saw in Conseco Sunday around 5:30 was old gold and black. All the scarlet and gray was eastbound by then.
  • So, would the numbers from this years championship be a record low for the tournament then? Only 12,000+ in attendance, right?

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