INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis has been more than happy to host the NFL Combine for the last 35 years.
“It has all the major components a city would like to host. It has international media, C-suite executives, NFL owners, and hundreds of hours of nationally televised beauty shots of the city,” said Chris Gahl with Visit Indy.
That 35-year streak was in jeopardy after the NFL opened up the draft combine to a bidding process, allowing other cities to make their pitch. Chris Gahl with Visit Indy says it turned out to be a good thing.
“This is a premiere event. This is an event that traditionally we have not had to go out and bid on like cities do for the Super Bowl, the draft, or even the Pro Bowl. So, to put us through this process was something that was ultimately good for both sides, and ultimately we win, we retain the Combine, which we know other cities would love to have,” Gahl said.
Indianapolis will continue to host through 2024.
“‘Pride’ is the best word to describe feelings today, with a sense of relief as well as we have retained this really marquee event,” Gahl said.
Gahl says the economy benefits greatly from the event each year.
“Events like this keep our men and women in the hospitality industry working, it keeps our city full. Two, there’s the economic effect, the $9.6 million that will be derived each and every year we host this event,” Gahl said.
Keeping an event like the NFL Combine is good for future opportunities as well.
“The NFL brass, the owners, are here each and every year, so as team Indy thinks about bidding on NFL draft or NFL Super Bowl, we have this regular cadence of having them in our city, them seeing our city. That will ultimately help us no matter where we want to go with other NFL related events,” Gahl said.