Indianapolis announces 2018 Super Bowl bid


By any measure, the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis was a great success and the city was in the spotlight with a week of events leading up to the big game.

Now state and city leaders are saying they're ready to bid for another Super Bowl in 2018.

More than 100,000 people came to Indianapolis, during the week of Super Bowl XLVI and economists estimate that the economic impact was nearly $300 million. Getting that economic boost again will take an up-front investment of tens of millions of dollars.

When it comes to a Super Bowl, it is hard to imagine anyone saying, "We changed the game. We actually changed the game." But that is exactly what Mayor Gregg Ballard said Friday at Lucas Oil stadium.

Indianapolis did change the game when it comes to hosting the world's biggest sporting event. Now it even has the gall to follow that up when Ballard added, "We informed the NFL that Indianapolis intends to nail it again for Super Bowl LII in 2018."

Colts owner Jim Irsay called what the city is attempting to do is unprecedented. A small market, cold weather city "going after a Super Bowl on the merits of our greatness and what we accomplished."

Tampa, New Orleans, Denver, Atlanta and Minneapolis are also expected to suit up.

Allison Melangton, the chair of the 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee, points out six years have passed since the city last submitted a bid.

"Last time we raised between $20-$26 million and so going forward we are looking at $30-$32 million. So we feel confident we can pull that together, but we won't start that until we know we made the short list for October," said Melangton.

The NFL's formal intent deadline was Friday, Aug. 30th. The league will pare that list down to four cities or less in October. Then those selected will submit written bids in April with oral presentations expected in May. The 32 NFL owners will make their selection at their Owners' Meeting in May.

Colts owner Jim Irsay says it will not be easy.

"The bidding is so competitive because the economic impact is so large and what it means to a city. People throw around the figure $400 million and it's always debated," he said.

Mayor Ballard says the event pumped in $384 million into the city's economy, 89 percent of which he says came from outside the city and 84 percent stayed in the city.

Looking toward the city skyline from Lucas Oil Stadium, Allison Melangton said, "So I am hoping in eight months we can look out this window outside and we will be able to say the epicenter of awesome is back."

The city feels it has a proven foundation to build on: strong donor and volunteer support, Super Bowl Village, Lucas Oil Stadium and the Legacy Project.

Former Colts Center Jeff Saturday reminded everyone how Hoosiers reacted to hosting the Super Bowl just 18 months ago.

"We made the people of Indiana proud of our state and you saw that," he said.

But the league already punched the city's new stadium ticket, so what else is there?

Melangton said details will be hard to come by.

"This is a very competitive process and we know we will hold our cards closely until the bid to make sure we have a competitive advantage against the other cities. We don't want them to know what we are doing," said Melangton.

Twenty-six people will serve on the board.

With the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix, 2016 in San Francisco and 2017 in Houston, Indianapolis is hoping the league will be ready for another cold weather city by 2018. Melangton says if the parameters remain the same, Indianapolis does have enough hotel rooms but she admitted everyone needs to take another look at crowd control along Georgia Street for outdoor concerts.

"We were overcrowded for sure and we will look at that again," she said.

"This is really unprecedented because we are going after this  Super Bowl on the merits of our greatness and what we accomplished," Irsay said.

That includes the Legacy Project. James Taylor is the CEO at the Bonner Project.

"We have sold more homes that have been redeveloped since the  Super Bowl than we did in the four years building up to it. Whatever the next effort is it has to be well beyond the game and move the needle on something of critical importance to the Indianapolis community," he said.

But before the search for another Legacy project begins the city has to see if the League will extend an invitation to officially submit a bid. That will determination will come in October.

See Indiana Sports Corp.'s press release here.

Exceeding expectations

By most accounts, Indianapolis exceeded expectations during the 2012 games. While the warm weather helped, so did things like the Super Bowl Village on the newly revamped Georgia Street and the zip line down Capitol Avenue.

"It's a fantastic move," said University of Indianapolis business professor Matt Will. "The economic impact was more than we'd ever dreamed it would be."

More than 100,000 people came to Indianapolis during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, bringing an economic impact of nearly $300 million. Half of that was spent on hotels and shopping and 20 percent on food and drink.

"We brought $295 million dollars from outside the city into Indianapolis. That is an incredible impact, definitely something we should try to do again," Will said.

The city had to spend millions too on public safety and infrastructure, including a rehabbed Georgia Street and the Super Bowl Village. Something that's now ready and waiting for the next game.

"Great news," says Carlos Harrington, manager of The Pub at Georgia and Pennsylvania streets.

He remembers the celebrities and the sales from our first Super Bowl. But it's the February 2012 "sweater weather" that he worries about.

"Indianapolis got 100 percent lucky, you have to say that. To press it again," said Harrington. "You're really looking for some magic stuff to happen. February last year was very cold."

But Will is optimistic.

"Allison Melangton (who ran the Super Bowl in 2012) was ready. Mayor Ballard was ready. If we had the snow, I don't think we would have missed a beat," he said.

So how do you top that? Adam Payne, a pilot from Houston, here during the Super Bowl, believes Indy will figure it out.

"Indianapolis is going to be stiff competition. It's a beautiful town. There's a lot of experience here," he said.

Remington Flores works for a company that helps set up events. Even though he's a diehard Pats fan, he'd love to set up a Super Bowl party in Colts country.

"It depends on what they do to top last time. It's definitely changed and brining more publicity here, so hopefully another one will come around," said Flores.

The manager of an local Dunkin' Donuts thinks the city should expand Super Bowl Village, add more zip lines and bring in new attractions.

"Like a really small Indy 500, that would be great! With go carts!"

First, though, Indianapolis has to make the first cut and get invited by the NFL to make a formal bid. That decision won't be made until October.