The decision came last December: the Indiana University Hoosiers would host the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big 10 football season opener on Aug. 31 — a Thursday night.
The game has all the hype.
Adding to the anticipation of being the first game of this season, the last time the Buckeyes played the Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium in 2015, Indiana led the then-No. 1 Ohio State into the end of the third quarter before the Buckeyes pulled away, eventually winning 34 to 27.
Back then, the head coach was Kevin Wilson. For Thursday’s matchup, Wilson will be on the OSU side after joining their coaching staff last year. And then there’s ESPN College GameDay spectacle.
All this drama for a late August game has Bloomington brimming with anticipation and excitement — and booked hotel rooms.
Nearly all of the 2,300 hotel rooms available in Bloomington have been filled a week before the game. Room availability at two of the city’s largest hotels, IU Memorial Union Biddle Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott, continues to fluctuate as kickoff nears. Some hotels have increased prices by more than 200 percent. The average price among 19 hotels in Monroe County has risen 125 percent over the cost of the same room only a week prior on a Thursday night.
Hotel prices and availability can vary based on a number of factors; the time of making the reservation, number of guests, room size, special promotions, cancellations and more. It’s an issue of supply and demand, and with a special event such as hosting the No. 2 college football team in the county for the first game of the year, the demand rises as does the price.