Indianapolis Sets New Bar for P&G Gymnastics Championships
19 Aug, 2015
The combination of attendance, community outreach, local corporate support, fan activities, a great venue and athletic excellence made this year’s P&G Championships the most successful since USA Gymnastics introduced the current national championship format in 2005. More than 33,000 people attended the P&G Gymnastics Championships that concluded Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, a 35 percent increase from when Indianapolis hosted the event in 2005.
“USA Gymnastics is proud to call Indianapolis home, and the city knocked it out of the park with its staging of the 2015 P&G Championships,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Our athletes came ready to compete, and Bankers Life was the perfect setting for their amazing feats. This year’s championships is the ‘best ever’ in so many ways, from overall attendance to local corporate support to fan engagement. Thank you to Indianapolis, the Indiana Sports Corp, Mayor Greg Ballard and the local business community for providing a spectacular week.”
Attendance totaled 33,457, including 15,370 fans in the stands for the combined sessions of junior and senior women’s competition on Saturday. Two-time world champion Simone Biles won her third straight national title on Saturday night during the NBC-televised event. The last time the Indiana Sports Corp and its community partners hosted the championships in Indianapolis was in 2005. Total attendance then was 24,757, so this year’s four-day event posted a 35 percent increase. At the 2014 championships in Pittsburgh, total attendance was 28,703.
“USA Gymnastics, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and all of our sponsors have been great partners. It showed in the arena, on Georgia Street and throughout downtown with a complete gymnastics takeover. As usual, our volunteers were fantastic and the support of fans and the community was second to none,” said Ryan Vaughn, president of the Indiana Sports Corp. “Ten years is too long between championships, and we’ll be working with USA Gymnastics to bring future gymnastics events to Indianapolis.”
Before the evening sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, fans enjoyed Brazil-themed family activities on Georgia Street and celebrated the role Indianapolis played in the Countdown to Rio. The street came to life with a gymnastics-themed sand sculpture, fan-participation painting that was presented to USA Gymnastics, chalk art, salsa dancing and other activities.
Youth programs associated with the championships, including behind the scenes tours, gymnastics banner creation and fitness activities reached more than 4,000 local kids.
This was the fourth time Indianapolis has hosted the P&G Gymnastics Championships (1986, 1998, 2005, 2015).
Eleven Hoosier companies joined the Indiana Sports Corp, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana to support the P&G Gymnastics Championships. Led by St. Vincent Sports Performance, the official medical and performance nutrition provider of USA Gymnastics and the P&G Gymnastics Championships, the premier level sponsors were Deloitte, Vera Bradley, Kroger and OneAmerica Financial Partners.
Local event partners were Bohlsen Group; Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group; Hendricks Regional Health; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield; Crowe Horwath, and Faegre Baker Daniels.
By the numbers:
- More than 250 community volunteers were active throughout the weekend helping with everything from setting up gymnastics equipment to leading athletes on the podium
- NBC Sports provided 3.5 hours of live coverage of the event, two hours during prime time on Saturday night and 1.5 hours on Sunday afternoon. In all, NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports televised 11.5 hours of P&G competition during the four days
- #PGChamps, the Twitter hashtag for the event, was trending on Twitter in Indianapolis on all four competition days
- Nearly 3,000 gym owners, coaches, judges and other gymnastics officials participated in the three-day USA Gymnastics Congress at the Indiana Convention Center
- Visit Indy officials estimate the economic impact of the event at $8.2 million
- 4,051 youth participated in the Sports Corp/USA Gymnastics fitness, banner, Special Olympics and PNC Youth Experience
- 60 tons of sand were brought in to make the first beach on Georgia Street and sculptors from the Indiana Ice Studio used 5 tons of sand to create a gymnastics-themed sand sculpture. Sports Corp donated the sand to the Indianapolis Department of Public Works to use for sand bags
- 4,800 glow sticks were distributed to fans as they left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night
- More 1,000 adults and children participated in the creation of the Faster, Higher, Stronger on the Road to Rio public painting. The design was created by Indianapolis-based artist Dante Ventresca, who specializes in community-engaged work through the Theater of Inclusion. The Arts Council of Indianapolis provided support for the project
- The Rio and Blue bandana designs of Indiana’s Vera Bradley were visible on banners and signage that decorated downtown and the Indianapolis area, as well as on the event’s championship medal ribbons, athlete numbers and other printed materials
- Day-by-day attendance totals: Aug. 13: 7,798 | Aug. 14: 5,139 | Aug. 15: 15,370 | Aug. 16: 5,150