I think the Indy Super Bowl will be a success for our community [July 18 Bill Benner column]. Indy learned from the Pan Am Games that it would never bid for an Olympics. But Indy has also learned from the NCAA basketball tournaments how to host a big event over three or four days.
The Super Bowl is a challenge because it is more than three or four days, but obviously less time than an Olympics. I have all the confidence in the world that Allison Melangton will run a very nice show.
We will always have the naysayers. The Indianapolis Taxpayer Alliance opposed construction of the City-County Building in the early ’60s because it was going to be taller than the Monument and use federal funds. The Marion County Democratic chairman sued to stop construction of Market Square Arena in the ’70s. Every expansion of the convention center (including the latest) has met opposition.
There is nothing wrong about having dozens of billionaires and thousands of millionaires spending their money in our city. Don’t forget we have a hotel tax and a sales tax. I do not think Lucas Oil was booked for anything that weekend, anyway.
During the Pan Am Games, downtown restaurants (the few that were down there then) complained that the restaurants were empty because locals did not go downtown. That will not be a complaint when thousands of fans are trying to catch a glimpse of a Hall of Famer or two.
Will there be a letdown? Yes. But if we do a great job, the NFL may want to return.