City announces pursuit of 2018 Super Bowl

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Indianapolis will seek to host its second Super Bowl in 2018 after a highly praised debut in 2012.

The city notified the NFL of its intentions Friday ahead of a news conference at which Gov. Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and civic leaders made the decision public at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the 2012 Super Bowl.

“The collaboration that went into the 2012 Super Bowl and the success of the event has generated tremendous community support to pursue the 2018 event,” said Allison Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp. president and formerly the president/CEO of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee. “After doing our due diligence on the 2018 bid landscape, the Super Bowl Host Committee board has enthusiastically decided to move forward with a 2018 bid.”

Indianapolis won broad praise for its hosting of Super Bowl XVII and drew hundreds of thousands of football fans to the city. Ballard said Friday the 2012 game is still having benefits for the city and that Indianapolis "set the standard" for future bidders.

However, wInning the 2018 game "is not a sure thing," Ballard cautioned. "There is plenty of work to do."

IBJ reported in July that the city was close to pulling the trigger on a bid for the 2018 game. At the time, Melangton said, “We’re carefully doing our homework. And if there are no red flags between now and August, it is our intent to bid.”

One issue bid organizers have been scrutinizing is which other cities will pursue bids. Among those believed to have a strong interest are Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Tampa.

Friday's announcement is the first step in a bid process that is different from the one the city faced in 2012, Melangton said. The NFL will review the list of willing host cities and identify finalists that will be invited to formally bid in October. The 32 NFL owners will vote on the host city for the 2018 Super Bowl at their meeting in Atlanta next May.

Indianapolis won accolades for its hosting of the 2012 Super Bowl. City officials expect that positive experience to bolster the city’s chances of winning over NFL owners.

"We're going after the Super Bowl on the merits of our greatness and what we accomplished" in 2012, Irsay said.


    The last thing a jock-sniffing town with its priorities on backwards needs is reinforcement of the paradigm. The Super Bowl was a super boondoggle for a select few, approximately 80% of the money that did come in (and it wasn't nearly what is being foisted about - it was a "locals" Super Bowl) went right back out again and, in all, it was a money losing proposition. For a town with an inferiority complex, it was a nice ego boost. But I'd rather we support our schools, pave our roads, support our arts (a $360 million a year industry that is being grossly under served) and, in general, stop sniffing jocks (another Super Bowl AND a cricket stadium? Be real). Let it go. The city needs more. And deserves better.
  • Hotel and tourism industry worker
    As someone who works in the hotel industry the Super Bowl did wonders for the hotels. Every hotel in the city was sold out. The closest hotels you could find that weekend were north of Kokomo, or south of Bloomington. You people forget that the reason the JW Marriott was built - was to ensure getting the Super Bowl and other large conventions. The city needed another convention hotel, and we now have the largest JW Marriott in the world. Restaurants, local shops and hotels flourished during this time. There are many hotels when they hit their budget marks - compare their revenue to the weekend of Super Bowl. If you don't work in the hospitality industry, sure you won't see the benefits and rewards of that weekend. But that's your choice to choose those industries. So the fact that you are complaining about an event that helped put Indy on the map as a good convention city is absurd. I say go for another Super Bowl. In fact - go for every one we can get. On a side note - because Indy did so well in the Super Bowl - every city that has a Super Bowl from now until 2018 has called the Indy Super Bowl Committee asking how they did it - and what do we need to do; to make our Super Bowl to be good as Indy's.
  • Why Bother?
    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. Think how many real local problems could benefit from a $30 corporate cash infusion
    Sunshine & 75 degrees in Indy in February- scratch Cigarette Boats - scratch Golfing -scratch Swimming outdoors - scratch Sun bathing -scratch Exactly what does Indy have to offer in February? Indianapolis = Scratch
  • Ronnie nailed it
    In addition to New Orleans's tricentennial, Minneapolis will have a new stadium. When you get your taxpayers to cough up hundreds of millions to the NFL, you get rewarded with "the big game". Does everyone forget that Detroit had the Super Bowl? Do we all want to talk about how great a city Detroit is and compare ourselves to Detroit because they were able to land the Super Bowl? I'm not totally opposed to bidding for a Super Bowl, but I put the chances for success of this bid at about 10% or less.
  • Minneapolis
    Don't forget that the NFL will need to throw Minneapolis its "thank you for paying for a new stadium" Super Bowl sometime soon as well.
  • The Indiana Super Bowl
    Farms. Corn. Simple folks. An even simpler way of life. Indiana may not be New York, or even Dallas, but that's ok. Because Hoosiers have a way of making you feel at home. And after the first successful game in 2012, the stakes are going to be even higher this time around. Get ready, world. The Indiana Super Bowl is on its way...again. February 2018.
  • City Announces
    I wonder if those opposed to the bid have noticed how the city and region has grown in the past 30 years, in large part, due to making the downtown attractive to live in and visit. hell yes go for another Super bowl!! The benefits from the last one are still being reaped and another will build further momentum.
  • Agree
    Completely agree with your post. This bid will drain important resources need to address the need for innovations we need to create a stronger sports industry base and delay critical needs we now have. The Natatorium is in critical need of upgrades to keep it competitive.
  • Hotels
    While The Alex added 200 rooms, the closing of University Place Hotels reduce the market by 278 rooms. Short of an InterContinental scale hotel project, don't see the NFL interested.
  • Ummmm
    #Indy = #BigLeagueCity = #Don'tGetOutMuch SBXLVI was great for rallying disparate players around some common causes, but do we really need to host another big game right away in order to maintain the momentum of that massive civic engagement and those partnerships? Let's find something else we all agree on, keep pushing forward to make Indy the best small-market city it can be, and not sully the success of 2012. Hubris is blind.
    • Think positive...
      If we thought as you naysayers do we would never have won a Super Bowl in the first place. Indy is a great place. We've beaten the odds in the past and can do it in the future. Let us think and act like we are the big league city we have become!
    • Hotels
      Gary, The Alexander hotel was opened this year with 200+ rooms. Not huge, but the Conrad only has around 250. Another Super Bowl would be great for this city and everyone would be better prepared. Residents and business owners wouldn't overspend on preparations, tent parties, and home rental companies assuming that everyone would become rich. Unfortunately, I just don't believe for a second that Indy will get another Super Bowl for a very long time so it's a waste of our city's time and money. The NFL gave us one to entice the city to build a new stadium and that's it. With winter options like Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Houston, San Diego, LA, and AZ, there's just no good reason to have it here again.
      • Htoels
        Not in favor of going for the 2018 Super Bowl.I believe it was made clear by the NFL that with out another major high end hotel downtown, Indy did stand much of a chance.
      • SB2018
        I hate to say it, but I was really hoping we would wait maybe another year. There is going to be so much determined by this years Super Bowl in a cold weather state again; plus lots of cities with recent stadiums and a tricentennial the same year for New Orleans (the darling of super bowls). But, if we're going for it, we need to go all out again, and I'm behind it. Just think our chances would have been better a little later.

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        1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

        2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

        3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

        4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

        5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.