Men’s Big Ten Basketball Tournament joining NCAA March Madness in Central Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Men’s Big Ten basketball tournament will officially be here Indianapolis in March. 

Central Indiana is already hosting all of March Madness and the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. 

Now, the Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that the men’s basketball tournament is moving to Indy from Chicago. 

With three big basketball tournaments in one city, Indianapolis officials say they are ready. 

Things will kick off with the big ten women’s tournament on March 9-13. Then the men’s goes from March 10-14.

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament will start with Selection Sunday on March 14, and there are several rounds leading up to the Championship Game scheduled for April 5. 

These are all events that Chris Gahl from Visit Indy says they have a proven track record of and it’s helped Indy land this college basketball line-up.

“There is no city in the nation that has enjoyed this amount of events in person. We know that since July, Indianapolis has hosted more than 40 in-person events. These are events ranging from 50 people to 10,000 people. Each armed with approval from the Marion County Health Department,” Gahl said. 

Since July, 60,000 visitors have been part of events Indianapolis has hosted. 

Now each of the upcoming tournaments will have to submit a health and safety plan to the health department, including what protocols will be in place. Those plans are still in the works and that includes if any or some fans will be allowed in.

“Paramount is the health of our visitors and those in our hospitality industry that will ultimately help welcome these visitors and put on these games,” said Gahl. 

This summer more than $7 million was invested for health and safety upgrades at the Convention Center Downtown.

“That gave way to event organizers like the Big Ten to kick the tires and have the Big Ten football championship in December.” 

Gahl also says the month of back-to-back to back tournaments will be a much-needed economic boost. He says they realize Indianapolis will be in the spotlight and prepared to follow the game plan . 

“What’s most important is we approach these events and pull off these events so that they continue to happen so live basketball continues and the bracket continues.” 

The Big Ten organization says a lot of factors went into moving the men’s games, including having the men’s and women’s games together for cohesive testing and medical protocols for both events. 

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