INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL Scouting Combine will continue to stay in the city it has always been in for at least the next two years.
It’s a big win for the city of Indianapolis. The 2022 NFL Combine brought in $9.6 million in economic impact. As the city continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, two more years of the combine will help to bring back tourism even further.
“As we look at the early position of 2023 we will be fully recovered, leading the nation, at this point, and into the future in terms of recovery,” said Chris Gahl, the Senior VP of Visit Indy.
Gahl said the choice to keep the combine in Indianapolis said a lot about the future of the city.
“If the NFL has confidence in Indianapolis that means the city is headed in the right direction,” Gahl said.
The combine also brings more positive exposure of Indy to a wide audience.
“Hundreds of hours of national TV time and all the major sports stars talking favorably about Indianapolis,” Gahl said.
Garnering national TV attention for hosting big events is something Indy did well even through the pandemic – with the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament and the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship.
“Our market, our hotels are built on sports conventions and trade shows, we rely more on group business than any other market in the country,” said Patrick Tamm, the President and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Tamm said events like these have been vitally important to helping businesses recover and workers pay bills.
“Money for bartenders, servers, housekeepers, front desk, drivers, people that work at our attractions and retail environment,” said Tamm.
Tamm and Gahl both said the combine’s return only helps to build momentum and keep eyes on Indy as a place people want to host conventions.
“They see Indianapolis on national TV. That helps us in terms of a possible visitor, possible meeting planner saying, ‘Wow, what’s happening in Indianapolis.'” Gahl said.
Essentially, the more attention, the more possible events in the future.
The combine also provides the unique opportunity to show top NFL brass what Indy is about, year in and year out. It’s something that Gahl said will help Indy down the road when leaders try and land the biggest event of the year in the NFL
“We have this unique opportunity to be on audition every year with the combine, inevitably this will help us as a city when team Indy thinks about approaching the NFL for a draft in future years and or another Super Bowl,” Gahl said.
Gahl said the economic impact from the combine has increased by more than $2.5 million in the last five years and they have ideas on how to grow that number even more during the next two years.