After the Super Bowl in Indy

April 22, 2010
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The 2012 Super Bowl is still nearly two years away, and Indianapolis civic leaders already are thinking ahead to the next exploit. What should the city that once had more pigeons than people downtown do for an encore?

Don Welsh, who heads the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, hears the question informally.

One idea—hosting a summer Olympics—is unrealistic, Welsh says. The games would overwhelm even Indianapolis’ trademark hospitality, and the cost to build the infrastructure and venues would leave taxpayers just as swamped. The only way Indianapolis could participate in an Olympics would be to work with another city, he says.

Closer to earth, the best shot at another massive event would be hosting a Democratic or Republican national convention, he believes.

Both parties have discussed Indianapolis in recent election cycles, but the conventions have gone to more symbolic places with more influence on votes. A convention would be about as challenging to put on as a Super Bowl, Welsh thinks.

There’s also the possibility of Indianapolis finding its way into the Super Bowl rotation. Put on an outstanding experience in 2012 and the team owners just might opt for a cold-weather location every so often, Welsh says.

First, though, Indianapolis has to pull off the Super Bowl, and the game is nowhere near guaranteed to take place as scheduled. As IBJ reporter Anthony Schoettle has noted, a looming confrontation between owners and the NFL Players Union could torpedo the whole thing.

And, of course, Indianapolis could stumble.

The civic leaders know this. But they’re scheming, anyway.

What do you think about this optimism? Has hubris arrived in humble Indianapolis? Where should Indy go from here?

  • World Cup
    there is still a chance indy hosts the World Cup 1st round
  • Options
    NBA All-Star Weekend, either DNC/RNC Convention, or the World Cup would all be worthwhile endeavors.
  • Big 10 Football Championship
    Indy needs to be ready to visit Delaney the day after the Big 10 finally expands to 12+ teams. If structured correctly, the Big 10 Championship football game could replicate the final four in terms of impact to the city. The other potential host cities in the Big 10 states are Minneapolis and Detroit (i.e. with domes). Clearly a rotation is in order or we could bid to be the exclusive site. That to me is key. If given a choice between rotating the big ten basketball tournament or hosting the football championship - take the football. Its more exposure for the city.
  • Be Creative
    We've got the time and talent. Why not create an event? NCAA Summer Games? An olympic style event. We've got the venues in place. Similar to Pan Am Games and National Sports Festival. We would "own" it for the first x-numbers of years. Huge tourism, broadcast and licensing revenue.
  • Facilities
    Focus efforts on upgrading those facilities that established Indy's sports rep in the beginning - namely the natatorium and the track and field stadium.

    Also, Greg makes a good point about the Big 10 football championship. Develop plans and a pitch for that event right now and stay a step ahead of the competition.
  • Nothing
    How about fixing the current infrastructure we have currently?!!! Like the pothole covered roads all over the city!
  • @IU Hoosiers
    Thats too easy.... and if they did do that, they would be criticized for not working on planning on bringing in new venues and tourists. it is a vicious cycle which would not end. Someone would find something to complain about.
  • Indy After Super Bowl
    Aside from World Cup action, the state's bi-centennial is coming. Could be a great festival if the planning starts now

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