INDIANAPOLIS — The Big Ten Championship will be decided in Indianapolis this weekend, just as the city is seeing its first significant snow storm of the season.
Despite the falling the snow and temperatures, Ohio State and Michigan State fans poured into downtown Friday.
Amber Shaffer and her husband traded in sun for snow, leaving 82-degree weather in Key West. That’s how much they love Ohio State.
“It’s a little drastic!” said Shaffer. “We got here early so we could do everything.”
Michigan State fan Spencer Hotz lives in Indy, but said the weather isn’t stopping any of his out-of-town guests.
“I have six people coming to stay at my place and we’re coming down around noon Saturday,” said Hotz. “We got tickets for Fan Fest and the Pep Rally and we’ll be down all day.”
Visit Indy’s Chris Gahl said there is no reason to think this weekend won’t be a big moneymaker for the city, as expected.
“Fifteen million dollars in economic impact with be generated this weekend regardless of the weather,” said Gahl. “Lucas Oil is sold out and our hotels have enjoyed an added boost to hotel occupancy.”
Last year, only 80-90% of hotel rooms were booked, but this year is a virtual sellout.
“Weather is not really a factor for Big Ten fans,” said Gahl. “They’re used to it! No matter the weather, hot or cold, it’s big business for the city of Indianapolis to the tune of $15 million in economic impact, edging out last year with $12 million generated.”
The Georgia Street and Fan Fest festivities are open Friday 3-9 p.m. and Saturday 12-8 p.m.