INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Prepare to sea of red in downtown Indianapolis this weekend, the BIG10 Championship Weekend is officially underway. The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers are set to kickoff Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Doors for the BIG10 Fan Fest at the Indiana Convention Center opened at 3p.m. Friday.
Times for the Fan Fest are: Friday 3-9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tickets are Free with a 2017 Big Ten Football Championship Game Ticket, otherwise they are $8.00 for adults, and $4.00 for Youth at the door.
Outside Lucas Oil Stadium, some fans had already staked out their tailgating spot by Friday morning. Buckeye fans Mark and Susie Bailey say they drove from Urbana, Ohio to make sure they had a front row parking spot for their RV.
“We were here for the ’14 BIG10 championship and we saw there were some RV’s parked here and we decided if we ever came back we would try to do that so here we are,” Mark Bailey said.
By the end of the weekend, more than 80,000 people are expected to descend upon downtown Indianapolis. The city is expected to pull in more than $18 million in economic impact.
“We’re just ready for them to come down, and welcome them and show them what Indianapolis is all about,” Brett Williams with the Indiana Sports Corp said.
Many hotels in downtown Indianapolis are reporting that they’re booked throughout the weekend. Airbnb says they’re also seeing record numbers, they’re projecting to have around 2400 people to use their service this weekend, earning hosts about $187,000.
“And that’s an even bigger audience than we had for the Indy 500,” public policy manager Monisha Merchant said.
Ticket prices are also higher than last year’s BIG10 Championship game. On sites like StubHub prices for Saturday’s game were ranging from $80 to well over $700 dollars; a testament to the popularity of the two teams.