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NFL combine brings thousands of visitors, millions of dollars to Indy

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Prospective players, coaches and scouts are all here in Indianapolis this week for the NFL scouting combine, which began on Wednesday.

“Just really excited,” said offensive lineman Charles Leno. “(I) just want to get out there and perform as well as possible.”

Local officials are also hoping things go well. For them, it’s another chance to impress the NFL as the city tries to land Super Bowl LII in 2018.

“The combine is a great event for the city,” said John Dedman from the Indiana Sports Corporation. “It brings a lot of NFL people and lot of eyeballs from around the country.”

And the numbers are impressive – 4,000 visitors and 900 media members bring an economic impact of $6.5 million to the city.

“(That’s a) good piece of business, economically,” said Visit Indy’s Chris Gahl. “But also you look at turning the attention of NFL execs and decision makers toward Indianapolis for future host events, like another Super Bowl.”

Mark Gorscak has a Super Bowl ring. He works for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he thinks Indy makes a great host city.

“The facility is superb, the amenities, the hotels, the people, everything hospitality-related is really cool,” said Gorscak.

“It’s a nice city,” agreed Leno, who played college football at Boise State.

The combine has been here in Indy since 1987, and they’re hoping to keep it here.

“We know that other cities are eyeing the NFL scouting combine,” said Gahl. “They’d love to have this event. We work really hard each and every year to prove why Indianapolis and how Indianapolis is the perfect place for this event and we don’t take it for granted.”

“It’s just a great thing for our city to be the host of such a great event,” said Dedman. “It’s a very prestigious event a lot of cities want, we hope to have it moving forward.

As for the Super Bowl, we should learn sometime in May whether Indy will get to play host again in 2018. Minneapolis and New Orleans are also in the running.