Minnesota beats out Indianapolis to host Super Bowl LII
The owners rewarded the Vikings for arranging to build a new stadium on the site of the old Metrodome by choosing Minneapolis over New Orleans and Indianapolis.
The big game will be staged in the Twin Cities for the second time. It was there in 1992, when Washington beat Buffalo.
Minneapolis' new $1 billion stadium is scheduled to open in 2016.
New Orleans has staged the Super Bowl 10 times, tied with South Florida for the most, but its bid might have been damaged by the blackout that interrupted the 2013 title game. Indianapolis had it in 2012.
Next year's game is in Glendale, Arizona, followed by Santa Clara, California, for the 50th Super Bowl, then Houston.
Colts owner Jim Irsay was gracious in defeat.
"This was as tough a competition as you can get. New Orleans has hosted 10 times," he said. "Minnesota, like us, was getting the unofficial awarding for building a new stadium.""Indiana presented a compelling bid in Atlanta, and I commend the Super Bowl Bid Committee and all those who spent countless hours putting together a bid packet that told Indiana's story so well," said Governor Mike Pence (R-IN). "Although the Super Bowl will not be coming to Indianapolis in 2018, we look forward to another opportunity to showcase our Hoosier hospitality and all that Indiana has to offer."
"Indy's Bid Committee put forward a very compelling presentation that stayed true to our belief that these events are about 'more than a game' by focusing on long-term betterment of our community and player safety. NFL owners had the opportunity to pick between three wonderful cities. I want to congratulate Minneapolis and wish them our best in hosting Super Bowl LII," said Mayor Greg Ballard (R-Indianapolis).
Earlier Tuesday, Irsay said he was confident about Indianapolis' chances. He felt former Indianapolis Colt Jeff Saturday was a good choice to help with the presentation.
“He’s playing quarterback now,” Irsay said, noting that Saturday’s “reputation and integrity” would help Indy’s bid.
"I'm in this thing. Indy deserves to win. I believe in this city," Saturday said.
Indiana Sports Corp. President Allison Melangton, who spearheaded the bid, said the legacy project with USA Football, which focuses on reducing head injuries, showed, “We care about the future of football.”
It called for a research and digital center in Indianapolis that Saturday says takes a “proactive approach” to making sure everyone is educated on the prevention and management of head injuries.
One notable difference this time: Indianapolis did not rely on any celebrities in its video. David Letterman appeared in Indianapolis' 2011 video bid and Dennis Hopper was featured for the 2012 video bid.
Colts owner Jim Irsay, who is back in the mix after undergoing rehabilitation following his arrest for driving while intoxicated earlier this year, spoke before the Indianapolis pitch. He says over $31 million in private donations has been raised before the vote."My feeling is from the heart. I really feel we did such an incredible job the first time and we had things like the Super Bowl Village that was copied. So we were really unique in Indianapolis. We can't guarantee the same weather, but we're gonna try. The money we raised even before the bid is unprecedented. So I really think that we deserve a second Super Bowl and that we've earned it. I'm really just gonna speak from the heart to the fellow owners," he said.
As far as Indianapolis being the front runner or the underdog, Irsay said, "You never really know because when you ask people some will tell you they're voting for you and then they don't. But then some will tell you that they can't vote for you and why. And others are open-minded. But I do think most owners go in open-minded and they want to hear the presentation. They want to hear your numbers and all those sorts of things. And I think that's where we have a great edge," he said.
Allison Melangton posted this video to YouTube thanking all the volunteers who helped in the 2018 bid process. Watch it here.