From bidding on the 1987 Pan American Games to building the Hoosier Dome before there was even a team to play in it, Indianapolis has made sports one of its primary economic development strategies. On the show, Cook and Culp discuss the economic impact of this strategy. Cook points out that the recently announced 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game proves it’s successful.
“[The College Football Playoff National Championship] wasn’t even competitively bid; we were invited to host it. This validates the sports strategy that Indy’s had for about 40 years. It’s something the city should be really proud of.”
Beyond the money being pumped into Indianapolis’ economy during these events, the national and international exposure to the city and the ability to showcase it to business we are trying to attract is invaluable.
As one example, Culp notes that companies with a presence – but not a headquarters – in Indiana tend to bring in national and international leadership for these events, exposing them to the city’s assets.
“They’re going to these games, they’re meeting our community’s leadership, they’re seeing what an amazing place this is. That’s the type of advertising and PR you can’t purchase. It has a lasting impact, especially when they’re thinking about where to place an expansion down the line.”
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