INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – This weekend’s NCAA Regional round at Lucas Oil Stadium features one of college basketball’s biggest rivalries, and four teams that promise to bring thousands of fans and millions of dollars to Indianapolis.
Those who want a hotel room in downtown Indianapolis this weekend should be prepared to pay.
“Actually we got a handful of rooms left but they are very high rates for a two-night stay,” says Phil Ray, General Manager of the Marriott downtown.
Ray says sellouts are never certain with NCAA Regional action. But this year is different.
“There’s absolutely no question the match-up between the teams are all close enough to drive but also able to come in for that Friday and Saturday nights has caused incredible demand here in the city,” says Ray.
Louisville and Kentucky are both an easy drive to Indy. Tennessee and Michigan are further, but are still drivable. Yet, all four are far enough away that fans plan to stay overnight.
Visit Indy’s Chris Gahl says that puts rooms at a premium.
“In 2013, our downtown hotels were able to command, on average, a $140 average daily room rate. This weekend, hotels are generating and creating $250 to even $350 per room per night,” Gahl says.
Ticket prices on the secondary market for the Louisville-Kentucky game are nearly double what they were for last year’s tournament games, says Mike Peduto of Circle City Tickets.
“Right now it’s about $100 a ticket just to get in that evening for the worst seats,” Peduto says.
Peduto says most buyers are from out of state. Having the Friday-Sunday games helps. Fans from teams that win Friday will head to Indy Saturday, easily filling in for those who leave because their teams lost.
“We’re looking at sold out hotels, sold out Lucas Oil Stadium, our bars and restaurants jam packed, and to the tune of $20 million in estimated economic impact,” Gahl says.
When you buy a ticket for Friday, it’s good for both games. Mike Peduto says right now is a good time to buy tickets for Sunday’s match-up. The price stays down until it’s clear which two teams will be playing.