Indy scores big with NCAA tournament potentially helping to bring other events to downtown

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INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Tournament is officially over, and while Baylor is celebrating a national championship, so is Indy. The successful tournament may be a boom to future tourism.

“It is a reminder of something we perhaps have all taken for granted, the power of our visitor,” said Downtown Indy Inc. Senior Vice President Bob Schultz. “If we can put on and successfully manage the most premier event the NCAA has, I think other event organizers will take a look at us.”

This coming weekend the city will host two more events, and both are set to bring 4,000 people to downtown. Visit Indy has been keeping their eye on conventions or youth sporting events that cancel in other cities, so they can bring them here. The Sweets and Snacks Expo will leave their Chicago location and come to Indy in late June.

Hosting the tournament gives the city credibility. The Olympic diving trials will also be in June, and in January the city will again go big for the NCAA when it hosts the college football national championship game.

“We have the big events to anchor the year, but we have the other events, the smaller fish if you will, that are just as important to keep that momentum going,” detailed Nate Swick, communications manager with Visit Indy.

With the tournament now over, the city can determine how much of a financial impact it gave Indy. Visit Indy is expecting a nine figure number.

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