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Get ready for a week unlike any Indianapolis has seen

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Few cities can host a big event like Indianapolis, what with its namesake 500-mile race that attracts 300,000 people annually and the NCAA Men’s Final Four, which regularly brings 70,000 into the compact downtown.

But Super Bowl XLVI will be different. Everything from security to traffic will be heightened as the city comes under the spotlight of international attention for more than a week leading up to the NFL’s championship game Feb. 5.

About 150,000 visitors are expected to pour into the region beginning in late January. But locals also will have opportunities galore to get involved in events and activities that may never come again.

Sports goliath ESPN is setting up an outdoor studio in Pan Am Plaza, producing 110 hours of programming from its temporary epicenter. Three blocks of Georgia Street is being transformed into Super Bowl Village, an entertainment zone billed as an “interactive festival of football.” And a 650-foot zip line perched above Capitol Avenue will provide an unusual perspective on the city.

Getting around Indianapolis, particularly downtown, will be a challenge. Not only will some streets be closed in stages as the game approaches, but some parking operators are considering moving regular customers to lots farther from the game and renting the spaces at higher prices.

Many restaurants will be a zoo, and crowds will only swell as the game approaches—to the point that your only realistic option may be to grab a bite from a street vendor. It will be a good time to hole up in a favorite undiscovered spot (or pack a PB&J).

You’ll be able to buy things you’ve never seen for sale in Indianapolis. Always pined for a pair of thigh-high python skin boots? Retailers sold them for $5,000-plus during the Super Bowl last year in Dallas. Maybe your chance is coming.

So prepare to have fun. The festivities begin soon.

Click here for IBJ's complete coverage of the big event.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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