On the heels of yet another well-reviewed Final Four, Indianapolis is undoubtedly the best bet for northern teams looking to have a College Football Playoff Final close to home. Much to the surprise of some nationally, that won't be happening any time soon. Here's the statement from Ryan Vaughn of the Indiana Sports Corporation today:
The College Football Playoff Championship game is a tremendous event, one that will continue to grow in the coming years. After analyzing the event and discussions with local partners, Indianapolis will not bid on the event during the current bid cycle. The upcoming schedule of sporting events and conventions for Indianapolis is aggressive and exciting. It includes the Big Ten Championship Game throughout 2021, a weekend of activities that we are proud to have played a key role in building into one of the country's most prominent football events. Our community loks forward to being considerd for the CFP Championship Game during a future bid cycle.
It's disappointing news for college football fans in the Big Ten, likely, but the decision makes some sense. It takes a large amount of dollars for these bids to move forward and a great deal of effort. If the powers-that-be in Indianapolis feel the timing isn't right for them to get tapped by the CFP committee, the funding can be better spent elsewhere.
Still, there's a big gap in Indianapolis college sports calendar moving forward. Outside of the women's Final Four next year, Indianapolis won't host another NCAA Championship until 2021 at the earliest. On top of that, they'll be losing the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament to the east coast after next season and won't get it back until 2020 & 2022. It's certainly a step back for the city's sports calendar -- which has hosted every Big Ten men's basketball tournament but two since 2008. In that same time frame, Indianapolis also hosted the 2010 & 2015 Final Four, and the 2012 Super Bowl. All of those events received universal praise from visitors.