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Super letdown: Indianapolis loses bid for 2011 game

Andrea Muirragui
May 22, 2007
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.-National Football League owners today awarded Dallas the 2011 Super Bowl, dashing Indianapolis' hopes of strengthening its status as a sports powerhouse.

The 32 team owners voted by secret ballot following 15-minute presentations from representatives of North Texas, Arizona and Indianapolis. Owners of the Dallas Cowboys, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts also addressed their peers.

Late-night television star David Letterman offered up a pre-recorded "Top 10" list as part of Indianapolis' presentation. Among Letterman's reasons for giving his hometown the game? His mom will throw a "kick-ass" tailgate party.

Apparently, that wasn't enough.

The Super Bowl is the NFL's premiere event, attracting an estimated 100,000 visitors who spend more than $250 million in the host city. Indianapolis bid on the game in the early 1990s, but lost out to Minnesota.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said yesterday he thought Indianapolis' time had come, citing his family's longevity in the league-four decades by the time the 2011 game is played-and the team's contributions over the years.

"You have to pay your dues, be a good partner," he said. "It is our time."

His fellow owners disagreed, despite Indianapolis' efforts to demonstrate its ability to accommodate the Super Bowl. Once construction on the $675 million Lucas Oil Stadium began in 2005, city boosters went to work lining up hotel rooms, booking entertainment venues and raising the $20 million-plus they thought it would take to host the big game.

Before the vote, supporters said the city had a lot going for it, including nearly 7,000 downtown hotel rooms and experience hosting major events-from the 1987 Pan Am Games to the three massive car races held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year.

The North Texas bid included the possibility of more tangible benefits, including a new stadium under construction in Arlington that will seat nearly 30,000 more people than Indianapolis' new venue.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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