It’s not exactly the Super Bowl, but the sold-out 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game is shaping up to be one heck of a weekend, even for fans without tickets.
An estimated 100,000 college football fans will descend on downtown Indianapolis, selling out hotels, filling restaurants and generally doing their part to make the planned 2-day celebration a lively one.
Beginning Friday at 3pm, Georgia Street is place to be, as the Indiana Convention Center presents the Big Ten Fan Fest, a 2-day experience that will feature interactive exhibits, games, giveaways, contests autograph opportunities, and more.
Big Ten Network cameras will be rolling as the evening portion of the event kicks off at 6pm with live entertainment by the Soul Street Band.
There will be food trucks and a beverage garden, and large screens showing college football clips. A life-size Stagg Championship Trophy will be on-site for photo opportunities.
In addition to live entertainment, there will be Live “look-ins” on FOX Football Daily begin around 6 p.m., as well as autograph opportunities and other fun activities.
Things get kicked up a notch on Saturday beginning at 9am, as ESPN’s College airs live from Pan Am Plaza in the hours leading up to the game. Want to be on national television? Fans will be allowed into the “pit” area, behind the sportscasters, starting around 7 a.m. Signs are allowed, although bags and backpacks are prohibited.
USA Football FUNdamental youth clinics are scheduled for 11 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.
A St. Elmo’s Shrimp Cocktail Eating Contest will take place on Georgia Street at 3pm on Saturday. The event will be overseen by Major League Eating, the sanctioning world body that oversees all professional eating contests.
Other activities will include an autograph session with former Big Ten players starting around 4 p.m., team pep rallies with marching bands and cheerleaders starting around 5:30pm. Live “look-ins” on FOX Football Daily will commence around 2:30 p.m., and the Big Ten Network will once again be televising the action live.
The Meijer Tail Greater Party on Georgia Street will take place starting at noon, and DJ Helicon will perform live from 4-8 p.m.