IBJNews

Festivities draw record crowds downtown

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Super Bowl Village’s opening weekend met local organizers’ expectations—and then some—drawing more than 205,000 visitors from Friday through Sunday.

That’s more people than would come downtown for an average Final Four weekend, and Host Committee officials think with the influx of out-of-towners expected to begin Thursday, next weekend’s crowds could be even bigger.

Super Bowl XLVI - downtown Indianapolis crowdsOrganizers were happy with the turnout downtown last weekend. (IBJ Photo / Perry Reichanadter)


Members of the local committee and the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association are crediting an aggressive regional marketing campaign in places like Louisville and Chicago for the early success. ICVA spokesman Chris Gahl said the turnout of central Indiana residents also was “phenomenal.”

Downtown hoteliers are reporting a 6-percent to 8-percent increase in occupancy Friday through Sunday over the same period a year ago.

“We are very pleased with the last three days and how the Village kicked off,” said 2012 Host Committee CEO Allison Melangton.

According to NFL officials, a record 42,238 attended the NFL Experience on Saturday and another 42,156 on Sunday. All told, 100,563 people have visited the attraction inside the Indiana Convention Center since it opened Friday.

The record attendance for the NFL Experience is about 200,000, set at the 2008 Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

“Attendance at the Super Bowl Village and NFL Experience has been strong—very strong,” said committee member John Dedman. “At this point, we are exceeding some expectations and I would expect to break the NFL Experience attendance mark.”

The only issues over the weekend occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday when high winds caused several tents in the Super Bowl Village to be evacuated. Those tents were reopened about 5 p.m., officials said.

“Everything went very well, and we’re proving just how much [pedestrian] traffic the Super Bowl Village and Georgia Street can handle,” said ICVA’s Gahl.

The zip line along Capitol Avenue also was an overwhelming success, host committee members said. More than 3,000 people have zipped above Capitol Avenue so far, and that number would have been higher had high winds not limited capacity Sunday.

The Host Committee is looking at making several “tweaks” to improve Super Bowl Village, Melangton said. Among the tweaks: changing the flow of foot traffic to eliminate “pinch points” and an effort to make sure pedestrians don’t block crosswalks so vehicles can make left turns.

Melangton also noted that all 7,000 tickets the NFL made available for Tuesday’s media day have been sold. NFL officials announced there will be no autographs given by Super Bowl players, but other players will be on hand to talk to fans and give autographs.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • nfl "experience"
    I live here and I think a lot of out of towners wish it was some place else. If it wasn't for the game being here people wouldn't be coming here. Get rid of the hoopla and you will be back to the same boring city
    • Parking
      Parked at Conseco(Bankers Life)nice walk through facility and into the action. Easy in and out. Great Job. Fun time.
    • Sunday NFL non-Experience
      Funny the ticket line was empty yet we were told at the tables to expect long lines. That was an understatement. The lines to throw a football through a glorified Hula-hoop were over hour +.
      I wasn't the only one disappointed and would like a refund since we literally walked through the cattle barn of activity.
    • Fun times!
      I went down twice this weekend. Used IndyGo from the Butler Tarkington area. Smooth ride in and out, buses were on schedule and very friendly helping the out of towners (and well locals who have never used it). IT was great to see so much activity and didn't see anything major that stood out as an...uh oh!

      Keep up the good work volunteers!
    • Great Job!
      Very proud of my city.

    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. Now if he'd just stay there...

    2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

    3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

    4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

    5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

    ADVERTISEMENT