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INDIANAPOLIS–The economic benefit of having the entire NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis will likely be positive for a city that has had its downtown business environment affected by the pandemic and riots.

“The expectation is there will be the creation of a bubble, kind of like what the NBA did in Orlando,” said Gerry Dick, with Inside Indiana Business, talking to WIBC’s Tony Katz. “All of the hotels and restaurants and other things in downtown Indianapolis are connected.”

Dick said those characteristics make Indianapolis uniquely qualified to host the games.

He said that there are still many unanswered questions about the tournament and logistics of hosting it in the Circle City.

On 2021

Dick also addressed how businesses might fare across the state in 2021. Even though it’s a new year, many of the same problems persist.

“I think there is a level, and I hate to use this because it’s overused, of cautious optimism,” he said. “Businesses are looking at the first half of this year probably as being very challenging and maybe a very slow recovery. In the second half of 2021, perhaps into 2022, things begin to get markedly better.”

Dick said some of what happens depends of how effective the vaccine is at slowing the pandemic.

“Consumer confidence: are consumers gonna spend money and buy things? Are they gonna go out to eat at levels like they did before?”

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