Indianapolis preps for Big Ten Football Championship, new hotel opens just in time

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2014) - Downtown Indianapolis is expecting a lot of red this weekend when Ohio State and Wisconsin fans come to town.

Crews spent Thursday afternoon setting up a fan experience area on Georgia Street and inside the Indiana Convention Center.

A new downtown hotel called Le Meridien opened it's doors  Thursday, with an official ribbon cutting. The manager says all 100 rooms are sold out on Saturday, and he expects a lot of fans for the game.

"That's why we pushed so hard to get open today was Big 10 so we're very excited. Saturday we're sold out, Friday getting close, but we're excited to show off this brand to the city for Big Ten with so many visitors here," said Nick Clark, General Manager at Le Meridien.

The Indiana Sports Corp. estimates the game will generate a $16 million economic impact.

"Indianapolis is right in the heart of Big Ten country so we're a convient drive for just about any of the teams but both Ohio State and Wisconsin have very loyal followings," said John Deadman, vice president of communications with the Indiana Sports Corp.

Officials at the Indiana Sports Corp. are also eying another sporting event to potentially bring to Indy. A group from Indiana Sports Corp. will travel to Texas next month to attend The College Football Championship Game.

"And who knows it might be something we pursue the next time it's open or later on down the road but there's definitely a lot of interest in it," said Dedman.