Indianapolis hopeful for NCAA basketball action in upcoming season

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The Indiana Sports Corp. has proposed a plan to host a college basketball bubble at the Indiana Convention Center, should that be the route any college basketball teams, conferences, or even the entire NCAA would want to take for the upcoming season.

The NCAA has given its blessing for the college basketball season to start Nov. 25, but like with college football, it’s up to the conferences and schools on if they want to play.

Ryan Vaughn, President of the Indiana Sports Corp., tells WISH-TV they have a plan to host a similar bubble like the NBA bubble in Orlando at the Convention Center.

“It’s the perfect place for a bubble type of operation or a controlled environment,” Vaughn said. “As with everything during this pandemic all options are on the table.”

About 4,700 hotel rooms are connected to the Convention Center and the whole facility is able to comfortably hold around 20 basketball courts.

Vaughn hopes that having this plan in place now, though there are currently no takers, will give college basketball teams and conference peace of mind as they consider whether or not they will play this season.

“You never need to leave,” Vaughn said. “We’ve got all your food. We’ll take care of the medical. You’ve got a place to practice. You’ve got a place to play, all within a very secured environment.”

He said they would be ready to host a 38-day stretch of games once the season starts on Nov. 25. It would also cost each school $90,000 to enter the bubble and the money would cover food, medical, and other basic needs of living in a bubble environment. That includes daily coronavirus testing.

Vaughn said the Convention Center and the Sports Corp. are not looking to profit off the plan, rather to just break even and provide teams the option of having a safe season.

As far as hosting the Final Four this year as planned, Vaughn says discussions with the NCAA are going on as if the event will happen like every other year.

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