Indianapolis faces challenge from Minneapolis, New Orleans in 20 - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indianapolis faces challenge from Minneapolis, New Orleans in 2018 Super Bowl bid

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INDIANAPOLIS -

It's going to be a busy weekend for the mind-trust of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Bid Committee.

On Tuesday, Indianapolis - along with Minneapolis and New Orleans - make their final presentation to the NFL owners for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Each city is given 15 minutes to make their case.

Indianapolis has a key closing speaker to "wow" the league owners, but the committee isn't telling us or anyone who it will be.

In prior bids, Indy turned to former Colts Coach Tony Dungy and former IPS Superintendent Eugene White.

Scott Swan and Mary Milz will be in Atlanta and report live on Tuesday's presentation and Super Bowl announcement.

Indianapolis' successful 2012 Super Bowl is sure to help city leaders make their case for another bid. But the Circle City has some competition.

The Super Bowl is a week-long party. New Orleans knows how to throw a party with a culture of music, food and fun.

"We've done championship games here for decades, so I think we've got a good reputation from a hospitality standpoint of how to turn on the party," said Mark Romig, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.

Romig is President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. WTHR interviewed Romig during the NBA All-Star weekend in February. Hosting big sporting events is critical to a city with 78,000 workers in the hospitality industry.

"It's fun. It's important and our economy depends on it, so we're going to keep trying and keep fighting and keep competing. We're very pleased just to be in the mix," said Romig.

The biggest advantage for New Orleans is experience and tradition. No city has hosted more Super Bowls - ten of them, with seven at the Superdome.

Still, Rita Benson LeBlanc, Saints owner and vice chairman, says there's no sense of entitlement.

"It is tough competition. All the cities are very deserving NFL cites, and we all work very hard. Having been intimately involved with the host committees, I know how much work and effort and community engagement goes into a bid," she said.

New Orleans boasts 20,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Superdome. Like Indianapolis, the Super Bowl activities are conveniently centered downtown.

"Just the logistics of New Orleans, you just can't beat it. I've attended many events in different cities. It's just easier for all of us," said LeBlanc.

The New Orleans 2018 bid centers on the 300th anniversary of the city. Organizers hope the NFL forgives and forgets the half-hour power outage during the last Super Bowl at the Superdome in 2013.

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