Since the announcement that the NCAA is working with the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to potentially bring the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament to the 317, many have been speculating about where exactly we would see games played.
This is a unique opportunity for Indy to add yet another signature event to its rich history. How does a regional at Bankers Life Fieldhouse sound? What about Hinkle? Maybe even Assembly Hall or Mackey Arena if they need to use other facilities around the state. Then you can close it out at Lucas Oil Stadium for the already “planned” Final Four.
Sounds incredible to us.
In order to make this work, all hands will have to be on deck. That’s what Greg Rakestraw talked about on The Ride with JMV Tuesday. Rake told JMV that the city and state can certainly make it happen.
“I think really what this is going to come down to, in by the time we get to March with possibly multiple vaccines on the market, is if fans will be allowed,” Rakestraw said. “If fans are allowed, that’s when I think you see an Assembly Hall or Mackey Arena. If this is going to take place largely without fans, then it’s an all Marion County event. You’re looking at Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.”
No matter where the games actually end up happening, the benefits for hotels and businesses from 68 teams featuring players, coaches, families, and spectators coming to Indiana will be huge.
“This is going to be a shot in the arm regardless of if it’s just parents, administrators and teams,” Rakestraw added. “If you can add fans to that, that’s just all the better. We’ve also been locked in with this tournament format for 35 years where it has been three weekends. What if that gets compacted and games happen in the span of 18 or so days, then you can get people in and out as you need to?”
Clearly there is much work ahead for all involved. But if this thing works out, all eyes will be on the Circle City come March.
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