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Sports Business

Big Easy writer says Indy should drop '18 Super Bowl bid

April 30, 2013
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Within three weeks, Indianapolis should know whom it faces in its bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl. The bidding for the next three Super Bowls is bound to be competitive. And a little ugly.

On May 7, bids for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowl are due. Officials for Miami and San Francisco have already met with NFL brass to discuss their bids for the 2016 game.

Miami officials tried to get NFL owners to promise them a Super Bowl in 2016 or 2017 if the city and Dolphins committed to a multimillion-dollar renovation of Sun Life Stadium. NFL owners declined.

Miami is stealing a few ideas from Indianapolis to make itself more competitive, including a zip line along the waterfront. They’re calling it the Hail Mary Zip Line. Miami is proposing more than doubling the spending the city put into the 2010 Super Bowl, from $10 million to $21 million. The city is also proposing a Super Bowl theme park downtown and closing down Biscayne Boulevard for the festivities. The proposal sounds a lot like Indy’s Super Bowl Village.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has partnered with local advertising giant Goodby Silverstein & Partners to launch “Bring the Bowl to the Bay,” a social media support campaign for the bid. The 49ers will have a new $1.2 billion stadium—which opens next year—and Bay area officials are promising “the most high-tech” Super Bowl ever.

The 2016 Super Bowl will be the 50th, and the two coastal cities are expected to pull out all the stops. The loser of the 2016 Super Bowl will face Houston to see who hosts the 2017 Super Bowl.

Team owners will vote on the 2016 and 2017 sites at their annual spring meeting May 21 in Boston.

Indiana Sports Corp. President Allison Melangton expects the team that loses out on the 2017 Super Bowl to join Indianapolis and New Orleans in the fight for the 2018 game. New Orleans officials plan to tie in the city’s 300th birthday bash into hosting the 2018 Super Bowl.

Later this summer, Indianapolis’ Super Bowl bid committee will throw its effort into overdrive, Melangton said. That’s when the blueprint will get crafted with the nuts and bolts likely put in place later in the year. The city will make its presentation to team owners in May 2014.

Melangton hasn’t divulged any details of what might be in Indianapolis’ bid. City officials are keen not to have any of their ideas pilfered. Already, other cities are trying to replicate Indy’s Super Bowl Village and now Miami has borrowed Melangton’s zip line idea.

According to New Orleans officials and supporters, none of Indianapolis’ planning will matter. They have already proclaimed the 2018 Super Bowl “is ours to lose.”

“My initial thought was, 'Good luck, Indy. You’ll need it,'” said New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jeff Duncan about Indianapolis' 2018 bid. “That Super Bowl is ours. … The competition would be wise to step aside and allow the Crescent City to bid unchallenged.”

Unchallenged? That’s not Indianapolis’ style.

“We know this much,” Melangton said. “It’s going to be competitive. We want our bid to be fresh.”

Ding ding. Sounds like it’s time to take the gloves off.

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