In the last year of a four-year contract, Indianapolis has already been a successful host for the Big Ten Tournament. I know it’s only the first day but the fact remains — Indy knows how to run big time events, especially sports.
They’ve already checked off the inaugural Big Ten football championship, Crossroads Classic, and Super Bowl XLVI this year.
Since Nebraska was added to the Big Ten, opening day turned into two sessions, featuring two games in each. In the first session of the tournament, the attendance was 17,936, larger than any Thursday crowd in the previous six tournaments. Now that’s a way to open the tournament.
There’s no question, Indiana returning to prominence and having a great season is a big factor why. The majority of seats in the first session were filled by fans wearing cream and crimson.
Friday is my favorite day of the tournament. The four top teams play their first game and the weakest teams are weeded out. We’re going to see see five top-15 teams hit the floor, with at least one in each game.
The afternoon session is sold-out, as is semi-finals on Saturday. Limited tickets remain for the evening session Friday and championship Sunday.
Over the next four years, the tournament will alternate between Chicago and Indianapolis. Next year, the conference, teams and media will see how great they had it in Indy.
Due to the central location, tremendous volunteer efforts and the city completely embracing the tourney, it deserves to remain in the “Amateur Sports Capital of the World” permanently.