Phoenix, Houston take aim at Indy

May 19, 2008
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As of noon, the IBJ reporting team (that’s me) has officially touched down in the Buckhead district of Atlanta where the 32 National Football League owners will decide which of three bidding cities will host the 2012 Super Bowl. While Indianapolis is the pre-game favorite, league sources in the lobby as I checked in said they expect exceptionally strong presentations from Phoenix and Houston.

Phoenix and Houston have hosted the Super Bowl before, and officials from both cities in Atlanta this week are saying they have learned from their experiences and will give a better bid with enhanced amenities this time. Phoenix and Houston officials said their bids this time around will be significantly slicker than the years that they won the bid. It appears that if Indy is to win, the local bid committee must improve even on last year, when the Circle City lost a 17-15 vote to Dallas.

It felt a bit like home when I arrived today. I was greeted by trucks from every Indy television station in the parking lot of the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton, with several local set-up crews busily working in the media room.

Stay tuned to The Score today, tomorrow and Wednesday as I intend to scout around for the latest news regarding these meetings. Later today, The Score will not only discuss the Super Bowl presentations and owner voting—which takes place tomorrow, but also report on the owners negotiations with the players union, which will determine future salary caps and have a major impact on small market teams’ ability to remain competitive. Indianapolis Colts officials said team owner Jim Irsay has his attention honed closely on that issue as well as the Super Bowl bid.

And no, just because I’m in Atlanta, doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about the Indianapolis 500. Later today, I will post a report on this site about the sponsorship situation of the 33 qualified teams and what this means for the Indy Racing League. One thing was certain yesterday at the famed Brickyard, the crowds were sparse. Very sparse for a bump day.

Nor has it escaped me, that tomorrow is the National Basketball Association lottery to see in which order the teams that didn’t make the playoffs will draft. The Pacers will either draft No. 1, 2 or 3 … or No. 11, 12, 13 or 14. Check back with The Score to see which way the Pacers might—or might not—draft, depending on which pick they get.

So please stay tuned, this report will be updated. Also check often, as we will post breaking news there the next two days.

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.