Mayor Ballard setting sights on second Super Bowl

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It's hard to believe that 2013 is just 13 days away, especially when you consider what a landmark year 2012 was for Indianapolis.

The largest event in the city's history happened in February, and Eyewitness News recently spoke with Mayor Greg Ballard about the opportunities and challenges for Indianapolis in the coming post-Super Bowl year.

Indianapolis tried for decades to get the NFL's biggest game of the year. Super Bowl XLVI thrilled football fans and city leaders.

"I remember telling the Sports Corporation audience at the time that this is not the culmination of anything. It's just validation that we've been doing the right thing for a long time now. So I think we will continue down that path and put on more big events. Certainly the convention business, there's more in the pipeline because of this, which I think supplies more jobs for the city of Indianapolis and central Indiana. So I think that's important," said the mayor.

Georgia Street was important to the Super Bowl as the center of the fun, but since then, the city has been trying to get the fun to return. The city put a lot of money into the renovation of Georgia Street, but efforts to get crowds to return to the area have not been as successful as some have hoped. The mayor disputed that assessment, and argues the plan needs more time.

"I'm not sure that's necessarily true. When you do something like that, I think it's going to take a few years to find its way. It's always used for the big events like the Big Ten football championship and others. It's not filled up every weekend and things like that. Would we like that? Sure we would. I just think it's going to have to feel its way," he said.

As we enter 2013, the mayor is encouraging more Super Bowl dreams.

"I think it is very realistic. We're going to put in on May of 2014, I think, is the time frame. 2018 is the Super Bowl that we will probably go after first," the mayor said. "Normally, we might say 15 to 20 years out, but the NFL owners were so thrilled with what happened in Indianapolis that I think they would give it another shot much more quickly that usual."

Wednesday night, watch more of our year-end interview with Mayor Ballard. He discusses the Indiana Pacers and the city's contribution to helping the team run Bankers Life Fieldhouse.