Swim championships helping sport, economy in Indy

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Champions are crowned in Indianapolis.

That’s the message John Dedman of the Indiana Sports Corporation wants the world to hear and Thursday’s start of the NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI’s downtown Indianapolis campus plays a part in that.

The women’s competition that begins at 11 a.m. Thursday and runs through Sunday will bring in 300 athletes from around the country, plus their coaches, administrators, family, friends and others from the swimming community, Dedman said.  The men’s competition takes place March 28-30 at the same location.

“Where they stay in hotel rooms, they eat in restaurants, they shop at our attractions, so it has a nice economic benefit for the local economy, as well as the state economy,” he said, while explaining exact economic impact data would not be available until after the event is completed.

As for the future of swimming in Indianapolis, Dedman described this week’s news that the city is no longer a candidate to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials as disappointing.  Nonetheless, Dedman spoke optimistically about the current contract keeping the top NCAA event in the Circle City through 2017.

“We expect swimming events to continue to come back here to Indianapolis,” Dedman said.  “We’ll continue to look at opportunities.  Not only here at the Natatorium, but other USA Swimming events.”

Tickets start as low as $10.  For more information, visit the NCAA’s Ticketmaster page.

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