Indianapolis Super Bowl and Super Bowl and USA Football and Sporting Events and Sports Business

Indy Super Bowl bid calls for new football research center, HQ

May 20, 2014

ATLANTA—Part of the legacy project included in Indianapolis' 2018 Super Bowl bid includes constructing a research and training center and headquarters for USA Football, local bid committee members revealed Tuesday morning.

At the new center, USA Football would study concussions and other health-related issues facing football players at every level, from youth to the NFL.

Concussions in particular and the health and safety of NFL players have become a major concerns for the league. Not only is the number of youth football players in the U.S. declining due to safety concerns, but the NFL last year had to fork over $765 million to a group of retired players suing the league over concussions they got playing in the league.

It's not clear if the new facility would be located in a new or existing building, but committee members said the site would need to include office space for the new center and headquarters along with land to accommodate outdoor activities related to football.

It's also not clear how much such the project would cost. But the center, which would include a strong neighborhood component and local programming, likely would run into the millions of dollars. The city's legacy investments for the 2012 game cost more than $9 million.

Local committee members refused to discuss if any sites have been identified for the project. Of course, if Indianapolis loses its bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl to either Minneapolis or New Orleans, that becomes a non-issue. Indianapolis was considered an underdog before the bid presentations scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

USA Football has grown from 15 to 65 employees since moving here from Vienna, Va., in 2010, and a new center is likely to accelerate that growth. USA Football's headquarters is currently on the seventh floor of a building at 45 N. Pennsylvania St.

"This would be really big for us," said USA Football Executive Director Scott Hallenbeck, who is in Atlanta this week as part of Indianapolis' Super Bowl bid committee. "It would allow us to tackle some really big, important issues."

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