Indianapolis ramping up prep work for 2022 championship game
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Susan Baughman will spend this weekend getting learning the nuances of putting on a national championship game.
Then the Indianapolis College Football Playoff host committee president will spend the next two years using those lessons to come up with a game plan.
On Wednesday, Baughman announced the rest of her team then took a few moments to contemplate the four-day event Indy be hosting in 2022.
“We're going to overprepare, we're going to plan for everything," Baughman said. “We're going to take a look (in New Orleans) at how we can develop our plan here."
Indianapolis has plenty of experience hosting major events, including seven Final Fours, the 2000 NBA Finals, multiple Olympics trials, the 2002 basketball world championships, the 2012 Super Bowl and races including the annual Indianapolis 500 each May.
But Indy will be the first cold-weather city to host college football's marquee game.
Monday night's game will be played in New Orleans, joining a growing list of metro areas that have held the game — Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa, Florida, Atlanta and Santa Clara, California. Next year's game will be played in Miami and then the game goes to metro Los Angeles and Houston in 2023 and 2024.
If Baughman pulls off a successful event in January 2022, she knows it could keep Indy in the mix.
“Indiana Sports Corp. will look at this event and others for the future calendar," she said. “I think we're going to do a great job with it and we want them to come back here. We want to make it so easy for them to come back here."
But Baughman, the 14-member executive committee and 23-member board of directors also will be working around a busy schedule.
Indianapolis already is slated to host the NBA All-Star Game, the men's basketball Final Four and the Big Ten football championship in 2021 as well as the Big Ten women's basketball tournament in 2021 and 2022, the Big Ten men's basketball tournament in 2022 and first- and second-round games in the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament.
That's all in addition to the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 and possibly NFL and NBA playoff games.
“We really see that as a benefit because we can work together," Baughman said. “We're really learning from each other about how to put on all these events."
Organizers plan to have a fan fair downtown, as it did for the Super Bowl in 2012. They also want to include fans in media day festivities, are planning to hold a public tailgate party and will have venues for concerts.