INDIANAPOLIS – Lucas Oil Stadium has been reconfigured to make room for approximately 36,000 basketball fans who are expected in downtown Indianapolis this weekend for the NCAA men’s basketball regionals. The games are expected to create an economic impact of $15 million.
“Big volume all day and lines out the door,” said Dave Hornak, general manager of Scotty’s Brewhouse.
“These are the moments we live for as a hotel,” said Anne Dunlavy, director of sales and marketing for JW Marriott.
The hotel expects to sell out, at least on Thursday and Friday. After that, it’s a waiting game. A win for certain teams could create an even bigger boom for business.
“For Louisville and Michigan State, in particular, to come through is a great thing for our local economy,” said John Dedman with Indiana Sports Corp. “They are two schools that have great fan bases, they are familiar with Indianapolis, and they have a relatively easy drive yet they’re far enough where a lot will stay the night, get hotel rooms, eat, drink, and be merry.”.
This is the fourth time Indianapolis has hosted this event.
“This is for sure just a good shot for downtown in general, and for us as well. We’re excited,” said Hornak.
Approximately 33,000 tickets have been sold already. Two thousand tickets were sold within 24 hours over the weekend.
An unrelated convention could also bring another 9,000 people downtown this weekend.