Indianapolis officials used Super Bowl to prep for 2012

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 Indianapolis officials say they're drawing on lessons learned while visiting Miami for this year's Super Bowl as they prepare to host the big game in 2012.

"The eyes of the world have never been on Indianapolis the way they are going to be for the Super Bowl," said Allison Melangton, president and CEO of the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee. "We have to take advantage of that, and we have to be ready for it."

Nearly four dozen host committee members and Indianapolis officials pored over details and soaked in the big picture during the Super Bowl, which the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints.

Melangton said members were struck by the number of activities taking place outside of National Football League-sanctioned events, including a Reebok shoe launch, an event for the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and a music and food festival that attracted celebrities and revelers.

"Probably my biggest takeaway from Florida is that I need to get my arms around all those things," Melangton said. "We need to be on the offensive, to go to those companies and get that information. It's not in a book anywhere to say these are all the events that happen at the Super Bowl, because they change so much."

She said it's time now to start planning everything from airport welcomes and transportation to fostering partnerships with community groups.

"For the last year, we did a lot of what I call 'demystifying,' trying to collect information," she said. "This year, our whole year will be spent on concrete planning. We've gathered our information, now we're going to sit down and make a plan."

Kit Sawers, vice president of special events for the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, says Indianapolis is on the right track with its timing. Dallas will host the 2011 game at Cowboys Stadium.

He said attention will quickly focus on Indianapolis once next year's Super Bowl is played.

"They're not going to be able hide behind the next game anymore," said Sawers. "All of a sudden, all of the attention is on you, and the floodgates open."


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