The Business of Indianapolis’ Sporting Endeavors
If you’re any kind of a proud Hoosier, you’ve surely seen the acclaimed film of the same name starring Gene Hackman as the coach of an underdog basketball team. Along with a local town-drunk, played by Dennis Hopper, these two coaches train a group of high school players through numerous mishaps and follies, overcoming the odds, and eventually leading their team to a victorious state-championship. This film is a completely accurate representation of Indiana’s love for sport, competition, and basketball especially. Indianapolis in particular, has been a beacon for athletic progress in recent years. From hosting the Super Bowl, to adding a new professional soccer team, Indy has made huge strides in economic development through the use of sports. And that ‘s all due to our love of the game, any game.
Forbes published an article in 2012, right before our city hosted the Super Bowl, which discussed Indianapolis’ economic and physical transformations. A centerpiece of the article is a documentary entitled ‘Naptown to Super City’, which was released by The Indianapolis Star and WFYI. Both the documentary, and the article itself, gives great praise to sports as the sole reason for this extraordinary development. During Indianapolis’ adolescence, it was a place where, well, no one wanted to be. Through the hard work of various wealthy individuals, corporations, civic leaders, and politicians, Indianapolis set it’s site on economic development, using sports as it’s main tool for progress. Suffice it to say, Indy succeeded, and now our city has become one that is envied by many of our urban counterparts.
Below is a list of Indy’s proudest achievements in sports, all of which have brought along great economic benefits to the city.
This year, Indianapolis created a brand new professional soccer team for the American Soccer League. Playing at IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium, Indy Eleven completely dominated the ASL in fan attendance in just its first year, averaging over 10,000 fans per game! You can just imagine the benefit to not only a great school (IUPUI), but to the cities local businesses as well.
The Indiana Fever has been around for 15 years and has consistently held great attendance numbers since their conception, a task not easily accomplished. On top of this, the Fever was only one of four WNBA teams to turn a profit in 2013 and is set to do so again this year. They recently attended the WNBA’s Preseason Summit where they were presented with more awards than any other team, including being the sole recipient of the President’s Choice Award. The Indiana Fever has been called a “model of stability” in a field where most teams struggle. The Indianapolis Business Journal published an article recently that outlined this WNBA team’s success.
SUPER BOWL XLVI
In 2012, Indianapolis hosted the most watched television event in American history! The NFL’s Super Bowl is consistently the most sought-after event when it comes to civic leaders’ aspirations to bring economically beneficial events to their cities. The financial benefits to Indianapolis we’re, of course, astronomical. From hotels, to restaurants, and small businesses, to corporations, everyone was a winner that week.
For a more in depth look into how Indy handled the biggest sporting event in the country, take a look at Forbes Magazine’s coveragehere. Thanks Forbes, kinder words have never been written about our fare city!
NCAA MARCH MADNESS
Indianapolis holds a contract with the National Collegiate Association of America, which allows the city to be the returning host for Final Four leg of the NCAA Tournament for both Men and Women. The basketball games are generally held at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse and go for numerous days at a time, game after game. There are all sorts of activities that are involved in this spectacle throughout the city, which create quite a scene in downtown Indianapolis for both locals and out-of-town fans. The fact that Indy was chose for this elusive contract might have something to do with the fact that the NCAA headquarters are in the city too! After all, it’s only fitting that one of the most beloved collegiate sporting events in the United States is held in the state that invented the sport.
Don’t forget to visit the NCAA Hall of Champions, a museum located in the heart of downtown showcasing the history of this great institution.
Indianapolis has been called the #1 sports city in the nation, some even say the world. Along with the aforementioned events, Indy also plays host to the largest racing event in the world (Indy 500), has one of the oldest and most cherished NBA teams (Indiana Pacers), and even a handful of US Olympic Teams (Diving, Gymnastics, Track and Field). I think it’s safe to say that we love our sports here, and with our sights set higher than ever, you can be sure that the economy that is Indianapolis will continue to grow and grow with the help of sports to come.