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STATEWIDE — Last year state lawmakers passed what is now effectively a statewide “bid fund” for cities and counties to bid on sporting events to come to Indiana.

The fund, which is available for the first time this year, is part of a push to boost the economic impact of hosting sporting events in the Hoosier state. Patrick Talty, the new president of the Indiana Sports Corp. tells Inside Indiana Business that the bid fund will help the whole state work together.

“It will allow us to go after events that we were losing out on that we could not compete with because we did not have the financial wherewithal to go after these,” Talty said.

Talty said that they needed money to be able to compete with other states, like Texas for example, which do have bid funds for these sorts of things. Even though most of the fund will be available for entities around the whole state to use, 30-percent of it will go towards Marion County alone.

Still, Talty said that the fund will keep Indiana cities from competing against each other.

“It’s been a huge tool. I’m so grateful that the legislature saw the benefit of this,” Talty said. “The good thing about ‘Team Indiana’ is that they’ve come together and they are working as a unit rather than competing against each other. So really, what their goal is is to keep these events in Indiana.”

The Indiana Sports Corp is boasting a strong lineup of sporting events coming up like the NBA All-Star Game in 2024 along with the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials. More events coming up are the Men’s Final Four in 2026 an the Women’s Final Four in 2028.