Hoop dream: Big economic impact

March 26, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
msufansToday starts a big four-day weekend for Indianapolis. Given the sports-business strategy this city is built on and the soft economy, this weekend dotted with NCAA and high school state championship basketball events has more relevance than most in recent years.

Not only is the economic impact crucial for area businesses, but taxes from tickets, hotel rooms, restaurants and other spending linked to the games goes toward paying for the two venues-Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium-which have become the center of so much controversy surrounding the Capital Improvement Board.

Already stung by down attendance at the men’s Big Ten tournament, not to mention Indiana Pacers games, downtown is counting on a score from the boy’s high school state finals and the first NCAA men’s regional round the city has hosted since 1979.

The NCAA games will be played Friday and Sunday, but the teams and fans are already arriving. Lucas Oil Stadium is hosting open team practices today. The four boys high school games are sandwiched between NCAA games on Saturday.

The high school finals played at Conseco Fieldhouse have steadily drawn between 30,000 and 34,000 downtown for the two Saturday sessions during the last five years. Many local high school hoops fans decried the fact that no Indianapolis team made the finals. This could actually benefit downtown businesses. Out-of-town visitors are more likely to spend the night in a hotel or eat a meal or two at a restaurant. The high school games could also get an attendance bump from traveling NCAA basketball fans looking for something to do Saturday.

If 32,000 show up for the high school games, that should bring $2 million in direct visitor spending. It wouldn’t be without reason that visitor spending could swell to $3 million. Not bad for a single day during a sluggish economy.

The NCAA games are a much bigger prize. Already, more than 25,000 tickets have been sold. With three of the four teams here coming from the Midwest, that could easily eclipse 30,000. The folks at the Indiana Sports Corp. are being conservative in their expectations, but if Michigan State and Kansas fans travel in the numbers they normally do, and Louisville fans make the trip in droves up Interstate 65, it’s not out of the question that ticket sales could swell to 35,000. Lucas Oil Stadium is configured to seat 40,000.

What’s difficult to predict is how many fans whose team lost in Friday’s games will unload tickets for the final at a cutthroat price. That will certainly hurt this city’s economic impact. Even so, you can bet that many fans traveling in for all or part of this four-day event will spend at least one night in a hotel and eat multiple meals and probably even swill a few beers downtown.

Granted, some of the people buying tickets will be hoops fans from central Indiana. But most will be out-of-towners. If you figure conservatively that each person traveling to Indy will spend $300 here, direct visitor spending of $9 million for the NCAA games is within reasonable reach.

Lots of folks like to talk about economic impact. That number is figured based on multiples of visitor spending. Economic impact takes into account, for instance, that a hotel worker who works more hours and gets more tips will spend money at area stores and restaurants, etc. and so on. So if you like an economic impact figure for this weekend of basketball, I’m predicting a number near $30 million. Either way you slice it, it’s not bad for a medium-sized Midwest market in a sickened economy.
  • Thank you Anthony for calling attention to the incredible economic
    impact sports has had and will continue to have in Indianapolis. As you
    said, major amateur sporting events, like the NCAA Midwest Regional,
    translate into many, many jobs for Hoosiers. And that's especially
    important during these difficult economic times.

    But equally important, all of the major sporting events brought to this
    city and state by the Indiana Sports Corp. for the past 30 years have
    created a positive and valuable brand for Indianapolis -- a brand as an
    amateur sports capital and a brand that many other U.S. cities are
    trying to emulate and capture.

    We are fortunate to have a 30-year head start. Indianapolis has a solid
    reputation for having the best volunteers and sporting-event organizers
    in the nation. And we have a reputation for supporting our sporting
    events, as evidenced by the crowds that poured into downtown
    Indianapolis over the weekend. The attendance at the NCAA Midwest Regional was the fourth-largest in NCAA history for a two-session Regional.

    While the Federal government grapples with creating a trillion dollar
    stimulus package, I'm thankful that Indianapolis had the forethought to
    create a home-grown Hoosier stimulus package through sports. It works!

    Joseph DeGroff
    Partner, Ice Miller LLP
    Chairman of the Board, Indiana Sports Corp.
  • This does offer some proof that the investment of Lucas Oil Stadium is in fact worth it. When you start talking about $10 million in visitor spending here and $10 million there, and a Final Four and Super Bowl on the horizon not to mention all the convention traffic coming, the $20 million more needed to fund operations at the facility, start to look a little more palpable.

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. The Affordable Care Act is not the reason for the slow recovery and lack of high paying jobs for low skill workers. This is a trend that has been going since the early 80's. The recovery is real in the sense that GDP has been growing steadily at a rate of roughly 2.5% since the recession ended in late 2009 (newsflash, the stimulus worked) and the unemployment has been steadily dropping. The reason issue we are facing deals with a skills gap (not enough workers with the right credentials / experience) and wage stagnation due to corporate America being focused solely on maximizing profits for shareholders and not caring about the American middle class. Why should they? Multi-billion dollar mutlinational companies keep offshoring their profits in order to avoid paying taxes (which makes our deficit worse) they convince Americans to fight amongst themselves. If you want to create jobs and reduce the deficit, raise the minimum wage and change corporate tax laws. Of course, if you want to continue to belive that tax cuts for wealthy create jobs (which they don't) and allow corporations and the wealthy to continue to make you cover more and more of the costs of maintaining infrastructure, funding the military and other government services, then keep voting Republican. Hopefully someday you wake up and realize what's been going on since Reagan took office.

  2. Helloooooo, my name is Kate. I am so joyous to share this wonderful testimony about what Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, did for me and my family. I wedded a year and 6 months ago, we were very happy during this whole period, i really love my husband so so much. I started noticing changes when he started coming home late at night, he stop paying attention to me, i later found out that he was having an affair with another lady, i dont know what she did to get to him but she really got a hold on him. He started spending weekends with her, and threaten for divorce. I was so heart broken and devastated, i spent many night thinking on how to get my husband back. A friend took it upon herself to to introduce me to one Dr. Osoijiakhena, a great spell caster, who once helped her with a spell that reunited her family and helped her husband secure a very prolific job. Though i had my doubts and never believed, but i decided to give it a try because i was helpless. I contacted Dr. Osoijiakhena, the Spell caster, to help me reunite my family by bringing back my husband from that other woman and break whatever hold she had on him. He only just told me that it's a minor issue, once i provide and do everything he will ask me to do, then i will have my family back again. I did everything he required. And he did it!!!!! My husband returned back to me and pleaded for forgiveness, and i also secured a well paid job in a big company, just as the great spell caster, Dr. Osoijiakhena said. I am so so happy to share my testimony on this wall. I am using this medium to tell every one that has same or similar problem to try the great Dr. Osoijiakhena through his mail: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com......he is so real!!!!! He can also help you with: (1) IF YOU WANT YOUR EX GIRL/BOYFRIEND TO RETURN BACK TO YOU (2) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE BACK (3) IF YOU WANT TO BE PROMOTED IN YOUR OFFICE (4) IF YOU WANT YOUR MAN OR WOMAN TO LOVE YOU (5) IF YOU WANT A CHILD (BARREN) (6) IF YOU WANT TO BE RICH/WEALTHY (7) IF YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND/WIFE TO BE YOURS FOREVER (8) IF YOU'VE BEEN SCAMMED AND WANT YOUR MONEY BACK (9) IF YOU ARE HAVING DELAY IN GETTING MARRIED (10) IF YOU HAVE A COURT CASE AND WANT TO WIN (11) IF YOU'RE A DRUG ADDICT AND YOU WANT TO REALLY STOP (12) IF YOU CANNOT IMPREGNATE A WOMAN (STERILE) (13) ALL TYPES OF DISEASES I advise you to contact the great Dr. Osoijiakhena, the spiritualist for solutions via his email: drosoijiakhenaspell@gmail.com

  3. Sergeant McNally is buried in Cathcart Cemetery on a hill known as McNally%u2019 Hill. The Cemetery is in a natural bushland setting and is very well maintained.The emergency department at Ararat Hospital is known as the John McNally Emergency Department. Cathcart is approx. 4.6 km from Ararat and is approx. 345 m above sea level.

  4. My spring chicken of a Mom is turning 75 years young. She is a big fan of Frankie and I think she would get a big kick out of the film. I wanted to take her to the Broadway play but am priced out. Thanks for your time and consideration. Oh yea, Wildwood! Joie

  5. I thought this company would go bankrupt in 2013/2014. I predicted that four years ago. I was wrong. It will take another couple of years, but they will get there.