IBJOpinion

BENNER: A lot more is in store in 2012 than just the Super Bowl

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Bill Benner on sports

Well, it is here. 2012: Our year. Our Super Year.

Nearly four years after National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell decreed that Super Bowl XLVI—that’s 46, for those of you who are Roman-numerically challenged—would come to Lucas Oil Stadium, the game is at hand.

We are inside 40 days until kickoff, and fewer than 30 until the fun begins with the opening of the Super Bowl Village along Georgia Street and the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center.

To many, our ability to execute America’s most-watched event will—for better or worse—define us as a city, at least for the short term. More than 5,000 media will be credentialed for the Super Bowl and, rest assured, not all of them will spend the entire week breaking down X’s and O’s and the two teams.

Some will devote time, ink, video and audio weighing in on our worthiness as a host city. We will absorb criticisms, deserved or not. Little issues will become large issues and large issues will turn into outraged ridicule.

For reference, see Dallas/Fort Worth, 2011, snow.

Sports media are, by and large, spoiled grumps (I speak from firsthand knowledge). Thus, a 10-minute wait for a bus, a steak delivered rare when medium was ordered, or, especially, a watered-down cocktail, can inspire a radio rant or a 700-word column labeling the host city a worthless dump that never should have been granted a croquet championship, let alone a Super Bowl.

I just want to warn you that, even if we catch a week of sunny skies and temps in the 40s matched by flawless execution from Allison Melangton and her Super Bowl Host Committee, some will be unhappy because they couldn’t follow the morning press conferences with an afternoon tee time or drinks by the pool.

The good news is that many in the media I have interacted with at the past two Super Bowls in North Texas and South Florida will arrive in Indianapolis with positive vibes about the city. They have been here for Indy 500s or Final Fours or the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL Combine and they like the city’s ease and convenience.

Interestingly, some in our own midst have the highest degree of skepticism about our ability to pull off a Super Bowl. They are a reflection of what I have labeled as our Indy-feriority complex. Despite the city’s successes in the sports arena and the glowing praise it continually receives as an event host—most recently from Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany after last month’s inaugural Big Ten championship football game—these are folks who are uncomfortable with having our blemishes exposed to the world.

There also are some naysayers who hope we botch it somehow so they can say, “Told you so.”

Melangton and her crew—which I’ve called the Dream Team of event organizers given the depth of their experience—are working 60-hours-plus weeks in preparation. Yes, the logistical challenges are enormous. Few Super Bowls have taken place in such a compact area. Our shiny new airport will be taxed to the max. Restaurants, bars and hotels will be slammed. We all will be inconvenienced.

And there is the one thing no mortal can control: the weather.

In any case, the Super Circus will leave town on Feb. 6, and we still will have multiple opportunities to make this a memorable year. A month later, the Big Ten men’s and women’s basketball tournaments return and, on the men’s side—for the first time in years—both Purdue and Indiana universities could be contenders.

We also should know in March the future of Peyton Manning and that of the Colts as it pertains to the draft in April. There are other futures to be determined, too, including those in the front office and coaching staff.

May will bring the new Dallara chassis and the new turbo-charged engines to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which should spark renewed interest not only in the Indy 500, but in the IndyCar Series.

And perhaps our promising local NBA team can make a deep run in the playoffs, giving us a “Pacers-Racers” May revival from the 1990s.

In September, the biggest names in professional golf—and those should include one Tiger Woods—will assemble for the BMW Championships at Crooked Stick Golf Course.

And by then—let’s hope, at least—Peyton Manning will be back at QB for the Colts, with a fella named Andrew Luck as his understudy. Now that could make it a Super Year, indeed.•

__________

Benner is senior associate commissioner for external affairs for the Horizon League college athletic conference and a former sports columnist for The Indianapolis Star. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at bbenner@ibj.com. He also has a blog, www.indyinsights.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

  4. GOOD DAY to you I am Mr Howell Henry, a Reputable, Legitimate & an accredited money Lender. I loan money out to individuals in need of financial assistance. Do you have a bad credit or are you in need of money to pay bills? i want to use this medium to inform you that i render reliable beneficiary assistance as I'll be glad to offer you a loan at 2% interest rate to reliable individuals. Services Rendered include: *Refinance *Home Improvement *Inventor Loans *Auto Loans *Debt Consolidation *Horse Loans *Line of Credit *Second Mortgage *Business Loans *Personal Loans *International Loans. Please write back if interested. Upon Response, you'll be mailed a Loan application form to fill. (No social security and no credit check, 100% Guaranteed!) I Look forward permitting me to be of service to you. You can contact me via e-mail howellhenryloanfirm@gmail.com Yours Sincerely MR Howell Henry(MD)

  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

ADVERTISEMENT