Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Allison Melangton began 2011 with a trip to Dallas to see firsthand how the NFL pulls off its big game.
Melangton also went to the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami, but this year she and some of her staff were embedded into Dallas’ organizing committee to get a closer look.
Melangton also got to see what winter weather can do to a Super Bowl, as three days of ice, snow and cold cascaded down on the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the days leading up to the match-up between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Things were so bad that Dallas retail outlets had to close early on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the Super Bowl; some roads and sidewalks in the area were still impassible on Thursday and Friday.
Melangton, along with Indianapolis Host Committee Chairman Mark Miles and Mayor Greg Ballard, worked with NFL officials shortly after the 2011 game to put together a more robust plan for dealing with almost any weather problem that might arise in Indianapolis during the first week of February 2012. Super Bowl XLVI is slated for Feb. 5 in Lucas Oil Stadium.
“We obviously saw things in Dallas we never thought we would,” Melangton said. “It was a good lesson on the importance of preparedness. We were prepared before Dallas, but afterward we were even more prepared. We are confident we are ready.”
The woman chosen as CEO of the city’s Super Bowl host committee wasn’t exactly a household name when she took the position in late 2008.
Melangton, 47, is charged with organizing every aspect of the event, including putting together a staff of about 15 full-time paid employees and recruiting and organizing more than 8,000 volunteers.
Melangton, a native of Maine, came to Indianapolis in 1983 to work for USA Gymnastics before joining the Indiana Sports Corp. staff in 1994. She eventually became a senior vice president in charge of such events as the men’s and women’s Big Ten basketball championships; NCAA Final Fours; and Olympic swimming, diving and wrestling trials.•