The incoming Indiana Sports Corp president said 2022 was a big year for sports in Indianapolis and the future continues to look bright as preparations for major events in 2024 continue.
The city ended the year with the Big Ten Conference Football Championship to a packed house at Lucas Oil Stadium, but Patrick Talty told Inside INdiana Business the organization also spent the year looking ahead, including the potential for Indy to have a future to house NFL draft.
“In 2022, we bid over $500 million and secured for future economic impact,” said Talty, who was promoted to ISC president in July.
Indy began hosting the College Football Playoff National Championship game in 2022, which generated $156.6 million in aggregate economic output, about $6 million more than expected.
“We started the year with that and then went straight into more basketball. We had the Big 10 championships for men and women here. We had the Horizon League championship. We had [NCAA Championship] first and second rounds while also doing Division III swimming and diving. So it’s been a big year,” Talty said.
In November, Indianapolis was also named a host city for the 2028 NCAA Women’s Final Four and the 2029 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
But Talty said 2023 will serve as the “planning year” for Indiana Sports Corp as the city prepares for another big sports year in 2024, beginning with the NBA All-Star Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
“There is a contingent that goes to Salt Lake City to watch the 23 All-Star Game to prepare, plan and inspire us to prepare for 24 to make the best All-Star Game possible “, he said.
Last year, USA Swimming announced that Indianapolis would host the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials ahead of the Summer Olympics in Paris. The nine-day event at Lucas Oil Stadium marks the first time that the trials have been held in a football stadium.
The local organizing committee for the trials was unveiled in June, and Talty said planning is well underway.
He emphasized the importance of both events for the presentation of the city.
“The NBA All-Star Game will give us access to a new audience. It’s an international event. It’s kind of a cross between music, fashion and sport. We can show Indy on a global stage,” he said. “And then the swimming tests are really about this Olympic movement. It will be nine nights of primetime coverage on NBC, showing us why Indy is the best place to live, work and play.”
Talty said the competition to host major sporting events is fierce and getting fiercer.
“When we were formed, we were the first sports commission; now there are over 350 of them and so the communities compete really hard for these events. So at Sports Corp, we never take these imperatives for granted. Indy is special because the city, state and other entities can come together to host these events; this also applies to bids. They work together to ensure these commandments take place.”
Indianapolis will host the 2023 and 2024 NFL Scouting Combine after the initial bidding process for the event last year. Talty now said that while the city knows their plans for their next Final Four events, officials are trying to host an NFL draft event.
“We are working closely with the Colts on that future. We have submitted an expression of interest for the coming years. Obviously we’re interested in 27 to 30’s. That process hasn’t started yet, but one thing we will be doing is working our tails off to make sure we can do our best to get this winning bid.”
You can read the full interview with Talty here.