INDIANAPOLIS/NORMAL– The Illinois State Redbirds will be participating in the annual Indy Classic basketball showcase later this year.
Illinois State will be tipping off against the Ball State Cardinals on Saturday, Dec. 17 in the inaugural event.
The event is presented by the Indiana Sports Corporation (ISC), Pacers Sports & Entertainment (PSE), and Russ Potts Productions. It will be inside the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Indy Classic will also feature Purdue vs. Davidson, which follows the Illinois State/Ball State game. It will additionally serve as an annual fundraiser for the Indiana Sports Corporation’s not-for-profit mission.
The showcase focuses on bringing in the top collegiate basketball teams to Indianapolis to compete in an annual doubleheader. ISC has entered into an indefinite agreement with PSE and Russ Potts Promotions to host the event in December each year. The event will replace the former Crossroads Classic weekend.
Moreover, the Redbirds and Cardinals have each faced off in the past two seasons. In the 22 meetings they’ve had, each team is 11-11. The Redbirds beat Ball State at Redbird Arena in Normal last year 85-64.
Remarks on Indy Classic announcement
“Big-time college basketball has become something of a holiday tradition at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Indy Classic will treat fans to some of our region’s best basketball talent at the very best basketball arena in the country,” said Rick Fuson, Chairman of the Indiana Sports Corporation. Fuson is also the CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
“Indiana Sports Corporation is excited to partner with Pacers Sports & Entertainment and Russ Potts Productions on the annual Indy Classic,” said Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corporation President. “We are looking forward to hosting two Indiana-based programs in its inaugural year. [We] have received positive feedback from college programs throughout the country on the future opportunity to play in the nation’s most storied basketball state.”
“Russ Potts Productions looks forward to partnering with Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Indiana Sports Corporation to bring a marquee college basketball doubleheader to the basketball capital of our country, Indianapolis,” said Zach Franz, president of Russ Potts Productions. “The 2022 Indy Classic will be the start of a new tradition in the Circle City that will attract top teams from around the country for many years to come.”
Indy’s history in hosting college basketball is extensive. It includes a total of 49 tournaments, including 25 women’s basketball and 13 men’s basketball tournaments for the Big Ten Conference. This also includes a leading eight Men’s Final Fours and three Women’s Final Fours. Additionally, Indianapolis is also a regular destination for regional, first, and second-round games of the NCAA tournament. In addition, this includes hosting the entire 2021 national championship tournament, the only city to do so.
Ticket sales for Indy Classic to begin in August
Tickets for the Indy Classic will go on sale in August through Ticketmaster. Event and sponsorship opportunities can also be addressed with the Indiana Sports Corporation.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.