We showcased our city, charmed them with our own blend of hospitality, then left them wanting more. And now, not six months after hosting Superbowl XLVI, the City of Indianapolis said the words many were hoping to hear, “Let’s do it again!”
And why not? We took the most marketable event in sports and pulled it off brilliantly…raised the bar, really. The zip line was genius, the weather downright magical (ok, that was lucky), and the setup was nothing short of ideal. The Superbowl Village set the precedent as a model for future host cities. Indy scored a major touchdown with the Superbowl, so much so that writers, athletes, and VIP’s went out of their way to suggest that Indianapolis become a part of the regular Superbowl rotation.
And that’s just what they intend to do, starting in 2018. Last week city leaders announced that Indianapolis will bid on Superbowl XLII. The committee is already at work on the bid, due in early 2014. NFL owners will vote on the host city that following spring. And yes, there is work to be done.
Some issues that came up during Superbowl XLVI were a shortage of luxury hotel rooms in the downtown area. And the Superbowl Village was so popular that crowd control become an issue during the Saturday night free concert. Lucas Oil Stadium doesn’t hold as many seats as the stadiums in many of the larger competing host cities. But any additional seating or lodging will have to be balanced by the city’s ability to support it during non event years.
While buoyed by the success of the big game, organizers were initially noncommittal on whether they would go after another one, claiming they needed to review the final numbers and determine whether the benefits outweighed the cost. Well, the numbers are in, and Indianapolis scored in a big way. The Indy Star reports an economic boost of $152 million during the ten day period surrounding the Superbowl. And that doesn’t take into account the publicity and recognition earned as the host city. Priceless positives no amount of marketing can buy.
Last February the rest of the world discovered what we have always known. That Indianapolis is a Super City. This is a first step in a second Superbowl. And there is no guarantee this bid will be successful. Remember, it took us two bids to win the first one. But make no mistake, whether it’s 2018 or 2020, Indianapolis will host another Superbowl. Hell, maybe we’ll even play in it! But one thing is for sure. When the spotlight is on…Indy will shine.