Downtown Indianapolis preparing for the College Football Playoff National Championship

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(Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC)

Downtown Indianapolis is turning into a college football fan zone this week as the city gears up to host the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Economists predict this weekend will bring in at least $150 million in revenue. Monument Circle is partially closed now as a stage is set up for live music and other events as part of what’s being called “Playoff Fan Central.”

“No one does sporting events like Indianapolis. No one does major events like Indianapolis,” said Ryan Allen Hall, director of public events for the College Football Playoff, who adds that it’s literally all hands on deck from everyone in Indianapolis.

“Hotels will be packed this weekend, from volunteers to restaurants, a lot of the hospitality industry,” he said.

Monument Circle, the Indiana Convention Center, and areas in and around Lucas Oil Stadium are expected to be jammed packed with celebrating fans, families, and anyone in between later this week. Playoff Fan Central in particular on Monument Circle will have lots of free music and other events that people can check out, says Hall.

To keep people safe with the pandemic still prevalent, Susan Baughman, 2022 Indy College Football Playoff committee president, says there will be safety protocols like access to hand sanitizers, open spaces, and crowd monitoring.

“It’s awesome to have a big event, a national event like this, and have all eyes on Indianapolis,” said Baughman. “Particularly after this last couple of years dealing with COVID for everybody, it’s a spirit uplift. It’s a thing that people can come out and do safely. Enjoy with their families and friends.”

The big game will happen Monday, Jan. 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The #1 Alabama Crimson Tide will face the #3 Georgia Bulldogs for the national championship.

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