Super Bowl 46 between the Giants and the Patriots was barely completed as the people who helped bring the big game to Indianapolis began planning for the next opportunity the city could host a Super Bowl
"Indianapolis raised the bar in 2012," said David Lewis, part of the committee to bring the Super Bowl back to Indianapolis in 2018.
We learned today that Indianapolis is in the running, up against Minneapolis and New Orleans, for the chance to host Super Bowl LII.
"It'll be harder, and the cities against which we are competing are worthy competitors," said Lewis at a news conference announcing that Indianapolis was a finalist.
The bid committee is ready, and so are many of the same donors who dug deep the last time, giving $25 million to show the NFL that Indianapolis is a city worthy of hosting the game that's become almost a national holiday.
"We know how to put on a great show," said Mayor Greg Ballard.
"It's good for business," said Robert Hillman with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Hillman said he believes the committee won't have a hard time raising the $30 million needed this time around.
"I think $30 million is really a pretty good bargain, in terms of all the good publicity and positive publicity we got," he said.
"We would not have gone out and done this again unless we thought the private contributions were there," added Ballard.
Not to mention the Hoosier hospitality the world got to see here in 2012.
"Indianapolis and Central Indiana have always been one of those places where volunteers jump in to help,"said Cathy Langham of the bid committee. "They don't just step in, they jump in. We think it will make a big difference in the bid."
The bid committee and donors have already jumped in, both feet first.
A repeat of the Super Bowl party Indianapolis pulled off in 2012 is a possibility for 2018.
"It's a big deal. It's a big deal for us," said football fan Janice Stamper.
Indianapolis has been picked as a finalist to host Super Bowl LII in 2018. The Circle City, which hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, was named a finalist Tuesday afternoon with New Orleans and Minneapolis.
"It proves that Indianapolis is really a unique city, being a medium-sized market in a colder market, without 80 degrees and beaches," said Colts owner Jim Irsay.
"They trust us," said Cathy Langham, vice chair of the committee that put together Indianapolis' bid for Super Bowl LII.
"We raised the bar in 2012. We delivered the fan experience everyone enjoyed," said David Lewis, another vice chair on the committee.
Fans after Colts souvenirs and autographs downtown Tuesday say they want another Super Bowl even more.
"The city was great. You had great hospitality, we had perfect venues, easy to get to. Who wouldn't want to come back here and play?" said Lisa Dorden.
Colts fans known not only their football, they know the score. They know what is at stake for the city as Indianapolis competes to host another Super Bowl.
"It makes us recognizable. It's an economic stimulus package for the city. Can't even describe what it does," said fan Donnie Miller.
Super Bowl XLVI in 2012 brought more than 100,000 visitors to Indianapolis, carrying an economic impact of more than $175 million.
To host another game, the bid committee will need corporate donations totaling about $30 million.
"We're delighted the donors from 2012 have stayed in contact in the last few weeks. A few have come to us and said they are excited to get involved," Langham said.
New Orleans hosted its tenth Super Bowl in 2013, while Minneapolis hosted its lone Super Bowl in 1992.
"It is very gratifying the NFL asked Indy to submit a bid to host Super Bowl LII. Indy's reputation for hosting great events is unmatched. I have no doubt our team will put forth an exciting plan to host another Super Bowl that will make the NFL, its owners, and football fans around the world very proud," Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said in a statement.
"We are extremely excited to move forward in the 2018 Super Bowl process. The 2012 Super Bowl had a tremendously positive impact on Indiana and our community is ready to produce a compelling bid for 2018. Our competition is stiff, but we look forward to showcasing the strengths of our community and earning the right to host Super Bowl LII," said Indiana Sports Corporation President Allison Melangton.
Governor Mike Pence and Senator Dan Coats (R-Indiana) also expressed congratulations to the city on Twitter Tuesday.
Miami, Dallas and Tampa, Fla. also submitted bids to host the game in 2018.
The host city for Super Bowl LII will be picked next May at the NFL meetings in Atlanta.
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