Indianapolis named finalist for 2018 Super Bowl

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Indianapolis has cleared the first hurdle in its quest to host the 2018 Super Bowl.

On Tuesday afternoon at their meeting in Washington, D.C., NFL team owners voted Indianapolis one of three teams that will be invited to make a presentation at the May owners’ meeting. New Orleans and Minneapolis are the other two finalists.

Indianapolis, Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Tampa, Fla., notified NFL officials in August they were interested in bidding for the 2018 Super Bowl.

Sources close to the NFL told IBJ that Miami was the first city axed from the contenders on Tuesday. Then Dallas was eliminated, followed by Tampa.

The owners will determine which city will host the 2018 Super Bowl at their May 19-21 meetings in Atlanta. Minneapolis is expected to have a new stadium built in time for the 2018 Super Bowl, and New Orleans will be celebrating its 300th birthday that year.

“It is very gratifying the NFL asked Indy to submit a bid to host Super Bowl LII," said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard in a prepared statement. "Indy’s reputation for hosting great events is unmatched. I have no doubt our team will put forth an exciting plan to host another Super Bowl that will make the NFL, its owners, and football fans around the world very proud.”

Colts owner Jim Irsay told NFL Media in an interview Monday that he thought Indianapolis had hosted one of the best Super Bowls in 2012, and that the city is in a strong position to win back the big game.

“Congrats to the great city of Indy for making it as a Super Bowl finalist!" Irsay tweeted after the news on Tuesday.

Officials likely are emboldened by the financial results of Indianapolis’ first time hosting of the NFL championship game, which produced a direct economic impact of $176 million, according to a study by Rockport Analytics. When considering “supply chain” spending by businesses to stock up for the game, in addition to spending of extra wages on overtime, the $176 million impact figure rises to $277.9 million, according to the study.

Other findings from the study showed that 116,000 visitors outside Indianapolis came to the city for the game or related events, and the NFL Experience drew 265,000 visitors.

That drove area hotel occupancy rates to about 93 percent for the four days leading up to the game, and to an eye-popping 99 percent for downtown hotels. The strong capacity lifted daily room rates to $290.

The local organizing committee has its work cut out for it for 2018.

"This is just the first hurdle cleared thanks to the hard work of Indy's Super Bowl Committee and the great accomplishments by our city in 2012,” said Indianapolis Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward, who is part of the local bid committee. “Plenty of more work ahead, but this is a reason to feel good and is a credit to the community. "

Indianapolis Super Bowl Bid Committee chief Allison Melangton has promised to come up with a new and creative way of delivering the city’s bid. In 2008, Indianapolis grabbed headlines by using school-aged children to deliver the written bid for the 2012 game and sending owners servings of St. Elmo shrimp cocktail to grease the skids for the local ask.

"Our competition is stiff, but we look forward to showcasing the strengths of our community and earning the right to host Super Bowl LII,” Melangton said after Tuesday's news.

The local bid committee is somewhat limited on what it can do until it gets the bid specifications, and Indianapolis officials aren’t sure when that will happen, said David Lewis, the committee’s vice chairman.

But there are four key things the local bid committee will start working on immediately, Lewis said, and he added, with the written portion of the bid due in April, time is of the essence.

“We will look back at 2012 and see what we did well and what we can do differently, start working on our overarching [bid] strategy, organize the bid team and start raising the money we will need to host this event,” Lewis said. “It will take every minute we have to prepare this bid.”

Already, Indiana Sports Corp. Vice President Susan Baughman has been named to lead the day-to-day operations of Indianapolis’ bid effort.

One of the first tasks for the local Super Bowl bid committee will be raising the $30 million needed to host the big game, said Lewis, vice president-global taxes and assistant treasurer for Eli Lilly & Co. Inc.

In 2007, when the city bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, Indianapolis was the first bidder to raise all the money--$25 million—it needed to host the Super Bowl before making its bid presentation. In 2008, the city repeated that feat in its successful bid to host the 2012 Super Bowl.

Lewis is confident Indianapolis bid committee can do that again.

“We had 133 donors last time, and 99 percent, basically all of our donors [for the 2012 Super Bowl] said they’d be in again at or above the level they were at if we bid again,” Lewis said. “All our indicators are that we will be able to raise all the money we need to host the 2018 Super Bowl before we make our bid presentation. We feel really good about that because we think that kind of corporate and civic commitment is one of the things that really set us apart last time.”

Irsay, who has become one of the most influential owners in the game, said in August that he would call in as many favors as needed to land the game.

“I’ve got some information on them and some various things I can use when the time comes." he said. "I always keep those in my back pocket. You’ll see me blitzing on every down when that comes. It’s always fun to go out there and really twist some arms.”


  • This is going to be tough
    As much as I love Indianapolis, I think going against Minneapolis is going to be very tough. I've never been to Minneapolis, but aside from their new stadium, there is alot that the city has going for it. From what I've read, we may have the bigger city, but they have a larger downtown. Given, our stadium is right in our downtown, and there's is a ways off. More than likely, their culture will play a large role in their bid. Sure, Minneapolis is midwestern and family friendly like us, but they are more progresive, trendy, and hip in comparison to Indianapolis. They can market their whole city whereas we can only market our downtown. The reason why? Because their transit system makes anyone of their neighborhoods, as well as St. Paul, easily accessible. As someone who took a parttime job working for a nightclub during our 1st superbowl, I can tell you that while our downtown is great, it is missing somethings that visitors may be looking for, like for instance, Macy's (but only a couple of people asked me where to find one of those). I hope Indianapolis gets to host the game again, but the committee will have to "up its game" a lot to do so.
  • Indy Held Hostage
    I couldn't have said it better myself. The Pacers alone hold a $10 million gun to the head of the city every year. Their economic impact? $44 million a year is what they'll tell you. Even if that's true, the arts return $350 million to our community every year...and they get maybe a tenth of the support. The Colts extract $25 million plus per year from the city. In their defense, the Simons and the Irsays DO give handsomely back to the community, but the overall ROI of their teams on this town is really not all that great. We are held hostage by the jock sniffers. We need new leadership - a new mayor - who actually understand what it really takes to make a city great. Not just pad the pockets of an elite few.
  • Use $$ elsewhere
    All we heard before last Super Bowl was that it would propel Indy in to the big leagues for future travel, convention business. If that was the case, why do we need another Super Bowl? The amount of money (taxes, incentives) thrown at sports in this town is appalling.
  • $$$
    Many local businesses tanked during the Super Bowl week. Fountain Square was like a ghost town. And remember the sign Nazis? Unless you paid a licensing fee you weren't allowed to even have a special sign outside your business to guide people to it? It's a cash-in for the well connected. That's all this is. It's too bad we can't put forth the effort and money that we waste on something like a Super Bowl to make our own city a better place for our own citizens rather than a weekend playground for the elite. I seem to remember that during the city's last Super Bowl drive city librarys were having their hours cut. What more do you need to know?
  • Shiny
    With all due respect to fellow commentators, somehow has to demystify this crap. I'm not from here originally...but I can tell you that in every regard, I've never seen a community so lemming like in its propensity to follow shiny crap over the cliff. This town is so easily led - and misled - and I think it all comes from that ingrained Indy-feriority complex I talked about earlier. This city doesn't need a Super Bowl to be great. It just needs to know what great is and stop listening to self-promoters who really only have their own, particular interests at heart. From the stadium to cricket to the Super Bowl, this town has had one, big smelly XXXL jock strap pulled over its face. Look beyond the hype and the glad-handing and the self congratulations and you'll quickly see that the Super Bowl is bad for Indianapolis - on many levels.
  • Good Point, Impact, But There Is No Support.
    The NFL, the city and the city's host committee absolutely will not tell you that all the money goes to the NFL experience, the NFL concessions, the hotels and the chain restaurants. They also won't tell you that the Indy game was considered "a local's Super Bowl"...and we got this from well-placed sources in the secondary ticket market. Unless it's Pittsburgh or Green Bay or Chicago, people will NOT travel to Indy for a Super Bowl. There are so many more important things this city needs to invest in - from infrastructure to education to the arts - that it's unconscionable to me that so much is spent (NOT invested, but spent and wasted) to attract the game, prepare for the game and then put on the game. In the end, the only winners are, truly, a select few who have just spent tens of millions of our dollars on what amounts to an ego boost for a city with an Indy-feriority complex. Make our symphony great again. Make our students accomplished again. Repair the roads and the deterioration of Georgia street after the last boondoggle. Then we'll talk. If the Super Bowl never returns to Indy, it'll be too soon. For all our sakes, I hope it was a one and done.
  • Impact
    I'd like to see support for the $130 million claim. Based upon this document, the NFL was exempt from hotel, sales, food and beverage (which fund LOS), and income taxes. http://www.in.gov/dor/reference/files/cd42.pdf While I'm not against another Super Bowl, let's understand the costs and who pays the bills.
    • Here is your source.
      Excerpted from a January posting: ThinkProgress. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/24/1490801/new-orleans-super-bowl-econom/ And this is just one of dozens of articles on the same subject. Dallas lost money. Indy LOST money. ...Those estimates, though, are likely fool’s gold, according to an assortment of academic research into the actual economic impact of Super Bowls and other major sporting events. When professors Victor Matheson and Robert Baade studied the economic impact of Super Bowls from 1973 to 1997, they found that the games boosted city economies by about $30 million, “roughly one-tenth the figures touted by the NFL” and an even smaller fraction of what New Orleans officials predict. A later Baade and Matheson study found that the economic impact of a Super Bowl is “on average one-quarter or less the magnitude of the most recent NFL estimates.” Similarly, a 1999 paper from professor Philip Porter found that the Super Bowl had virtually no effect on a city’s economy. Research on other events New Orleans has hosted, including the men’s Final Four, is similar. When Baade and Matheson studied Final Fours, they found that the events tend “not to translate into any measurable benefits to the host cities.” There are multiple reasons the estimates are often overstated. Impact estimates usually take into account how much money will be spent in the city during an event like the Super Bowl without examining how much potential spending will be lost because people don’t visit or leave the city to avoid the crowd — that is, the impact studies account for gross spending, but not net spending. And the estimates rarely include the additional cost of putting on the event, further distorting the disparity between gross and net spending figures. Another factor is the possibility of leakages, whereby money spent doesn’t remain in the local economy. Much of the spent money will be at hotels, which often raise prices three-fold for events like the Super Bowl. But as Matheson notes in one study, those price increases don’t translate into three-fold increases for hotel employees, so much of the increased spending never makes it back into the local economy. And many Super Bowl services are outsourced to outside contractors, who don’t return all of their earnings back to the local economy either. And this is based on Super Bowls in New Orleans...by ever conceivable measure a city better suited to the game. Hope this helps. The Super Bowl is a losing proposition. The exposure Indy got is overstated. We're not a destination city...we never will be. We were rewarded for bilking billions out of the community for a stadium we didn't need. The game won't be coming back. Good luck Minneapolis. Get your act together, Indy. There are way more important things that need to be done to put this city on the map than cater to a small cadre of jock sniffers.
    • Tempting Fate
      Maybe I'm over simplifying things but A LOT went right for Indy the 1st time. Unseasonably warm weather in February and perfect location and closeness of venues and activities. Not saying we can't do it again but it's a stretch to imagine people walking Georgia St and zip lining thru downtown in normal February weather will happen again. A perfect storm of events happened to make it a successful event. Also, the newness and excitement of the event was high too...can the same excitement be regenerated? Good luck to Indy.
    • Indianapolis Named
      I can't believe the comment about "losing money" on the Super Bowl! The City of Indianapolis could never buy the quantity and quality of advertising that the SB brought. It is more than just the quantifiable economic impact. The arts are fine....but please compare the long-term benefits of hosting major sporting events. They bring people here who otherwise would not come.
    • Garland
      Garland, please grant the rest of us the source of your knowledge because I certainly don't know what it is. I mean, anyone can make up statistics. 18% of all people know that. So cite your sources!
    • Short sighted just a little?
      Garland, PLEASE. This event ENRICHES our community in many respects, makes our community stronger AND wealthier and better able to SUPPORT the arts, and many other causes. It is AN INVESTMENT. Look at the Legacy Project alone, not even counting the $130+ million economic benefit; PLUS the exposure to the world that Indy is a worthy destination to visit!!!!
      Super Bowl. Loses money and provides a little shot in the arm to the egos of a few select individuals. The Arts. $350 million - A YEAR - and puts us on the map culturally and legitimately as an actual city. We dumped more money into one losing Super Bowl - so we could pat ourselves on the back for a couple of hours on a Sunday in February - than we do on the arts in a decade and its the arts (and our schools and our quality of life EVERYDAY) that truly define us as a city. Say no to the Super Boondoggle. We're not just a jock-siffing wannabe, we can be a real city if we just tell Ballard and the blowhards to shut up.
      • Toss up
        Minneapolis could drop the ball. They have the "reward us for getting the taxpayers to drop more than a half-billion on the NFL" argument going for them, but their owners were just in the news having been order to pay a nine-figure settlement for some past naughty business dealings. And I don't think New Orleans' can be dismissed when you add their tricentennial celebration on top of their renowned ability to host these things. I think Indy would've had a much better chance shooting for SB LI that was awarded to Houston.
      • Spot on Balthazar.
        I was going to make a few comments but then realized that Balthazar hit it spot on. Indy is just there to make Minneapolis step up it's game. And if Minneapolis doesn't drop the ball and gets chosen for 2018 then Indy shouldn't waste it's time bidding on 2019, 2020 or 2021.
      • Minneapolis's To Lose
        This is Minneapolis's game to lose. Here's the logic: It's a good bet it's going to a cold weather city given 2 out of 3 such locales as finalists, and given that after NY in '14, it's slated for Phoenix, 'frisco and 'Houston in '15, '16 & '17 respectively. And given that N.O. just hosted this year, it's down to Minneapolis and Indy. Minneapolis trumps Indy as a reward for their new stadium, with Indy getting 2023 as the heir apparent for the next cold weather city selection (roughly every 5 years). An outside chance Indy prevails if it's felt that Minneapolis is just too damn cold (even with an indoor stadium), and given Indy's superlative performance in 2012.
      • Who's more deserving than Indy
        The cleanest big city in the U.S. w/o weather that is quite as dreadful as Mini in the winter and, unlike NO, a stadium that doesn't require taking one's life one's hands getting from the parking lots to the entrances. Go Indy!

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