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Chicago Seeks To Woo Away Sporting Events From Indianapolis

The Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Now that Chicago has fought off the City of Indianapolis’ effort to woo away the CME Group, Chicago tourism officials are reportedly plotting revenge.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau has formed a sports commission with a $300,000 startup budget, according to Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports


The mission of the commission is to lure the NCAA Final Four college basketball contest, world wrestling championships, soccer tournaments, auto races and other athletic competitions away from Indianapolis and into Chicago, Hinz reported.

Crain’s quotes sports consultant Marc Ganis as calling the commission “a nice first step” and saying “it’s about time.”

But Ganis tells Hinz the plan won’t go far unless the proper facilities are available for sports in the city.

For example, Indianapolis has a domed football stadium, whereas Chicago does not. Thus, Indianapolis is hosting the Super Bowl next year, but Chicago is not likely to get the big game at open-air Soldier Field in midwinter.

However, Ganis tells Hinz, Chicago could build a major swimming complex for a fairly cheap price of $40 million to $100 million, and areas such as the University of Illinois at Chicago campus might be ideal for a large, multipurpose outdoor space.