Indy needs bigger pile of corporate cash to win 2018 Super Bowl

August 30, 2013
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Indianapolis Super Bowl Bid Committee officials say they’ll need to raise $5 million more in advance corporate and private donations for the 2018 game than they did for the 2012 Super Bowl.

In 2008, Indianapolis was the first prospective Super Bowl host city to secure firm commitments for all the money it would need before it actually won the bid.

Indianapolis is still the only city to manage that trick, and local bid committee boss Allison Melangton is confident that feat can be repeated. But this time they’ll need to snare hard commitments for $30 million, Melangton revealed at a press gathering at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday morning.

In 2008, the city had commitments for $25 million in hand when local leaders made their pitch to the NFL's 32 owners. Another $3 million in corporate and private donations were scored as the game neared.

Melangton credited former Capital Improvement Board President Fred Glass for coming up with the idea to raise the money ahead of time. Glass is now the Indiana University athletic director.

“It ended up being a really important factor for us,” said Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp. president. “It showed we were serious and just how committed our corporate and other private partners were.”

While keeping many details of Indianapolis’ bid plans secret for competitive reasons, Melangton said Friday that raising the money needed to host the Super Bowl would be one of five pillars upon which this city’s bid would be built—if the NFL names Indy to the short list in October.

The other four are building on the foundation of the Super Bowl Village, building on the effort to secure more than 8,000 Hoosier volunteers, emphasizing the strengths of Lucas Oil Stadium, and “our passion for a meaningful legacy project,” according to Melangton.

Of those, local bid committee officials said raising the corporate cash ahead of schedule and improving upon the snazzy Super Bowl Village concept that was pioneered here in 2012 would be the most critical.

While there have been some preliminary discussions with potential donors, Melangton said the fundraising for the hosting budget won’t begin in earnest until October—if the city makes the short list.

NFL officials said they will announce in October a short list of cities that will be invited to make a presentation at next May’s owners meeting, where the 2018 Super Bowl site will be voted on.
Melangton said she is confident that the $30 million can be raised in the approximately six months between the short list announcement and the presentation.

The feedback from Indianapolis’ corporate community following the 2012 Super Bowl has given Melangton supreme confidence the never-before-done feat can be repeated.

“As part of the after action review [in 2012], we had meetings with the donor companies that supported the host committee and the response was positive and supportive,” Melangton said. “So we are encouraged with that response.”

The NFL won’t announce which cities have officially asked for permission to bid on the 2018 Super Bowl, but Melangton thinks New Orleans, Tampa and Minneapolis will be Indy’s main competitors. The cash in hand, she said, could be a big first step in setting Indianapolis apart.

“One of the things that has set us apart from all other cities has been our community engagement at all levels,” Melangton said. “I expect that to continue.”

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay figures to be one of those corporate donors. He donated toward the 2012 bid. Although Irsay hasn't yet said how much he'll commit financially, he said on Friday that he's prepared to "call in favors" and "twist arms" of the 31 other NFL team owners that will be voting on the Super Bowl host city.

Despite the money raised for the 2012 Super Bowl, the city’s Capital Improvement Board still lost about $1 million hosting the big game after paying for things like snow removal equipment, security, legal services, insurance, utilities, maintenance and extra trash pick-up.

The loss would likely have been greater if the city had contended with the snow and ice that is common here in February, when the game was held.

Melangton said the loss figures were “mischaracterized by the media.” Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said the economic impact—including money to private businesses and local and state taxes raised from the activities surrounding the game—far exceeded the small loss.

“There’s no question,” Ballard said, “there was a significant and positive return [on investment] from this event.”

  • Lets go Local
    The Super Bowl was fun and memorable but let us find something new instead - inclusive, local, sustainable as a festival or event for Indy with that $5million. The SB wasn't great because of the B list celebrities who came to town or the NFL parties none of us got to attend. The greatness and beauty came from all of us gathering together - of 100,000+ on the streets in peaceful, joyful celebration. We don't need Alec Baldwin and the Playmates to create that here again. It was fun once, a blast. Lets try something new.
  • Priorities
    Why can't the city put this much effort and money into the events and facilities we already have? Help grow the Indy 500 again, the Brickyard 400, Moto GP, NCAA championships, the Big Ten Tourney. We all know the NFL doesn't want snow, they want Miami every year. Let's move past it. If the previous Superbowl was so great for the city, where are the new headquarters? The gold streets? I just see the same poor performing IPS schools, vacant homes, and an understaffed police dept. Plus, IMS actually pays taxes and doesn't bilk the city through a one sided stadium lease. Heck, put this much effort into the police budget. IPS. Assisting Lilly or others. Then we could really be world-class everyday, not just one week in Feb., for the cameras....
  • Completely agree
    It's time to put the energy, creativity, and money into something that will benefit and define Indiana every day, not just one Sunday once every few years and only then if some committee deems us worthy. Build an amazing museum, create a must-see festival, do something that proves Indiana has even an ounce of the "innovation" that they're touting on that ridiculous Times Square ad.
  • Cut the check!
    Who do I write my check to? Seriously, I think going for a second Super Bowl is a great idea, and I don't understand why some Indy people are against it.
  • LOL
    I swear most of you whine simply for the sake of whining! You make all these unfounded claims and ignore the absolute benefits that came from hosting the game. Common sense? Sounds like anything but.... I say go for it!
    • Settle down, Marshall
      Unfounded claims, Marshall? Please. Study after study bears out that the "whiners" as you call us are correct on this. The "cheerleaders" on the other hand want us to pay for their game. Really great cities don't even bother pursuing such nonsense. Indy is so mediocre, even after hosting a SB. Indy will always be mediocre because it is full of mediocre people with mediocre vision of what this city can be. Drive around town, Marshall. Indy is a neglected dump.
    • Name one really great city that has a real possibility to host the game that chooses not to. There are two types of NFL Cities. Those that host the Superbowl and those that wish they could. We have plunged millions into IPS and homeless relief. And the return on investment is 0. We tried to get the folks squatting under a railroad overpass to go to shelters and to get jobs and what did the majority do? set up camp under another overpass. If given the choice of joining society and becoming productive members of that society or continuing to be parasites who take and do not give back, well they made their decision. IPS as it is currently is a lost cause. It is a school system of 60 years ago. Plunging more dollars into it will do nothing to improve education. They need to make the best schools charters and the rest need to be folded into the township schools.
      • Bad Deal for Taxpayers
        Really, Indyman? Then why do so few cities bid on the Super Bowl? Because of the extreme demands of the NFL, SBs do not make money for the host cities. Read the academic studies of the effect of Super Bowls. The only question is how much money you're going to lose by being the host. Most cities have figured that out by now and don't bid. I think even Indianapolis' leaders know better but they are just so enthralled by the perks that come with being the host, they don't mind that it is a bad deal for taxpayers.
      • I would say the vast majority do not meet the high standards of the event. They are cold weather open air stadiums like New England, Philly, Chicago, Cincy, Kansas City, etc... They are cities that do not have the setup for hosting a large event like St. Louis, Seattle, and Nashville. Trust me, everyone of those cities would love to host a Superbowl. I have read the academic studies and most point out that hosting a Superbowl is good for your city and region. Lets look at Indy's. Our $1 million dollar loss brought in between $150 million and $300 million impact on the local economy. I would tend to think any city would gladly pay that. It brought international exposure that you can't buy. I would tend to believe any city would gladly take that as well. The economic impact in Indy is even stronger than many southern cities who typically do most of their hotel business in the winter while Indy is extremely slow in the Jan-Feb time of year. If your hypothesis is correct, then the perenial Superbowl Cities would have stopped bidding on them years ago. But there is not one that has dropped out because they don't think they are worth it. In fact, the success of Indy has spawned NY and Denver to try for it.
      • $30 M???
        Think of the real local problems $30 million could help solve. All the Stupor Bowl brought us last time was crowds, closed streets, and private parties anywhere someone could put a heated tent. It didn't help the community whatsoever.

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