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Airport begins taking stock of Super Bowl's business impact

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The Super Bowl generated more than $1 million in merchandise sales at Indianapolis International Airport, airport officials said Friday.

The big game on Feb. 5 brought 528 additional aircraft to Indianapolis International and its regional reliever airports. Indianapolis Regional Airport, in Mount Comfort, alone hosted aircraft from 10 NFL team owners.

Airport executive Mike Medvescek told the Indianapolis Airport Authority board it was the biggest influx of planes he’d seen “in the 22 years I’ve worked here.”

To accommodate the influx, the airport closed one smaller runway and turned it into an airplane parking lot. The ramp of the former U.S. Postal Service air facility also became a parking place, as well as 58 acres of ramp space at the former passenger terminal.

FedEx Corp. agreed to donate a portion of its massive air-cargo terminal as a parking lot.

“Several billion dollars worth of metal was here sitting on the ground,” Medvescek said.

The crunch also was felt at security checkpoints. At one point, 24,574 passengers were screened in a 24-hour period compared with 9,229 during the same period of 2011.

Airport officials are still tallying key numbers such as landing-fee income, and they plan to present a full report of the Super Bowl’s impact next month.

Heavy planning for the event appeared to pay off, such as setting up an employee parking lot west of the terminal as a rental car return area as a way to prevent chaos at the airport parking garage.

“Within two hours, we had 2,000 cars returned to this lot,” said Marsha Stone, the airport’s chief financial officer.

Stone said taxi-cab activity swelled 631 percent on the Saturday before the game. Anticipating such demand, more than 200 additional cabs were prepared ahead of time.

“The guests were absolutely shocked they could get taxis so fast here,” Stone said.

The Super Bowl was a much-needed shot in the arm for the airport, which has seen flight activity fall during the economic slowdown. Officials are projecting a 3-percent decrease in passenger enplanements in 2012.

Some of that involves flight cutbacks by AirTran and Delta Air Lines.

Stone said airport officials and local businesses used the big event to buttonhole airline executives about adding more service.

 

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  • Taxpayer cost...
    ...I'm guessing it's waaay more than $1 Million taxpayer $$$$ spent so the airlines could waste/ pollute even MORE than usual, oh and the airport gift shops could sell a whole bunch of crap made in CHINA! USA!USA!USA!
  • transit
    I agree, the light rail system like the people mover would be nice. A free ride downtown may be a little much.
  • OMG
    Wow....one million and what did this cost the taxpayers?
    • Light Rail
      What is needed next is a light rail system from the airport to downtown, just like what servers the IU Hospital system. They have this in Phoenix. It needs to happen if you are going to build on the Convention City concept.

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      1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

      2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

      3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

      4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

      5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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