Hoosiers size up competition for 2018 Super Bowl


Indianapolis is one of three finalists to host the 2018 Super Bowl.

But we wanted to know what it will really take to get the game here and what the NFL owners will consider when they vote on where to hold Super Bowl LII.

As the Circle City draws up its game plan for a bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, we asked people on Monument Circle out of the three finalists, which city will win?

No surprise, many marked down "Indianapolis" in our unscientific survey.

These votes, after all, are coming from Hoosiers. But when it comes to the competition, what is Indy really up against?

New Orleans has hosted 10 Super Bowls. It is an electric, vibrant city and despite an electrical failure during last year's big game, they know how to host.

Plus visitors can count on warm weather and it may be a sentimental favorite, since New Orleans will celebrate its 300th birthday in 2018.

As for Minneapolis, many think it could be the front runner because of its new stadium, which is about to be constructed. So we broke down the head-to-head battle of the cold weather cities.

First, logistics.

Indy, as we saw for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, is intimate. It's walkable for visitors, with hotels and restaurants are right near Lucas Oil stadium. Ninety-nine percent of those hotels were full right before the 2012 game.

Minneapolis is compact, too, and actually has more hotels and restaurants, but the stadium is a bit further out.

Larry DeGaris, sports marketing professor at the University of Indianapolis says our city's layout is in our favor. It's been tested - and triumphed.

"Indianapolis definitely has the edge," DeGaris said. "We've done it here. They haven't. It's not that they can't. They just haven't."

Score one for Minneapolis when it comes to the game's venue.

"Their main advantage is they are building a new stadium," DeGaris explained. "There's kind of an informal quid pro quo. You build a new stadium and we give you a Super Bowl."

Dallas, Indy, Detroit and Phoenix all got Super Bowls after getting new stadiums.

"They say 'Here's what you need to do in order to get a Super Bowl. Well, if we're going to do that, you better give us a Super Bowl. But I will say, you tend not to get it on the first try," DeGaris said.

As for track record, DeGaris says Indy again has the edge. Like Minneapolis, we've hosted lots of big sporting events. But Minneapolis last hosted a super bowl in 1992 and Indy's just last year was met with rave reviews.

"How many owners are left from 1992? That's ancient history," DeGaris said. "Super Bowl in 1992 is nothing like the Super Bowl now. Things and requirements have changed radically. Having done it recently, knowing what it takes and having been really successful is a huge asset. There's a confidence that you know everything is going to come off as planned."

Then, DeGaris says, there are the intangibles - specifically, the man who makes the big play for Indianapolis.

"We got Jim Irsay. They don't. "It's not a purely economic decision. There are personal relationships that are involved and Jim Irsay is a huge asset in that regard," DeGaris explained.

Irsay and many Hoosiers say Indy is in a great position to win back the big game. Now, they just need the best game plan to get those votes from NFL owners.