Football fans wearing Michigan State green and Wisconsin red filled Lucas Oil Stadium for the first Big 10 Football Championship game Saturday.
People like MSU fan Chris Pscodna drove hours to downtown Indianapolis just to be a part of history.
"We'll be able to, uh, say we were at the first one," said Pscodna. "That makes it, you know, a little extra special and exciting."
Wisconsin fan Garrett Kanas wanted that same experience. "You'll look back with your grandkids and tell 'em this was the first big 10 championship and we were there."
Before thousands flooded the stadium, they took advantage of Fan Fest, an interactive pre-game event held at the Convention Center.
People got to play football video games, snap a picture with the Heisman Trophy, buy merchandise, and cheer on their teams. If that got stuffy, people would step outside and stroll through a block of Georgia Street.
The street between the convention center and Conseco Fieldhouse was remodeled recently.
"This is more like a tailgate party that we're used to in Madison before our game," said Chad Linzmeyer holding a beer and wearing his Wisconsin red.
The party spilled through downtown and into restaurants and bars as folks took in some dinner and watched TV before the championship game.
It wasn't just a good experience for fans, but a good test run for the City's Super Bowl Host Committee.
"When you talk about the number of visitors that are coming in, you're still talking about 66,000 to 67,000 people in Lucas Oil Stadium. And a good number of them, we feel like, are coming from out of town,"
said John Dedman, VP of Communications for Indianapolis Sports Corporation.
Many guests felt like Indianapolis was ready for February.
"It's awesome here. I love it," said Linzmeyer. "You guys know how to host a party!"
"So far, this has been great!" said MSU fan Jerry Nelson.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times