Indy's competition for 2018 Super Bowl getting ridiculous

February 1, 2013
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The competition to land a Super Bowl is always intense.

Indianapolis found that out the hard way, getting jobbed for the 2011 Super Bowl by Dallas, before landing the big game in 2012 on another nail-biter.

The competition for the 2018 Super Bowl is getting down right ridiculous. Indianapolis was the first to officially throw its hat in the ring in early 2012. Coming off what many within the NFL called the best Super Bowl hosting job ever, Indianapolis looked like a strong contender for 2018. Some even were brave enough to suggest the Circle City might get in on a regular host city rotation.

Less than 11 months after jumping into the ring to fight for another Super Bowl, Indianapolis’ ability to secure it in 2018 seems anything but certain. In fact, it now looks like they’re fighting an uphill battle, with some NFL insiders quietly putting their weight behind other cities.

It’s going to take some masterful lobbing by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and another super-creative bid to get Indianapolis back toward the lead in this race.

Heading into this week, here’s the list of cities considering bidding for the 2018 Super Bowl: Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Minneapolis and Dallas. Minneapolis and San Francisco are likely to have new stadiums to flaunt. And we all know how the NFL likes a shiny new stadium for Super Bowls.

No city can generate more money for the NFL and its 32 team owners than Dallas, which despite its problems in 2011, can still boast the ability to pack 100,000 people into the Jerry Jones Dome. And we all know how much the NFL likes money.

As if all that’s not enough, the battle for the 2018 Super Bowl became a full-on bar brawl this week, when the NFL “invited,” I repeat “invited” Denver to bid on the 2018 Super Bowl. I’m not sure what you make of the word ‘invite,’ but in my book, that means ‘you are wanted, desired and lusted after.’

Then on Thursday, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President & CEO and Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee Executive Director Jay Cicero announced that the group “would like to bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, timed to the city's 300th anniversary.”

Now that’s just dirty pool. How is Indianapolis supposed to compete with that? We all know New Orleans knows how to throw a party. I can’t imagine what they’ll do to tie it in with its tricentennial. If nothing else, that will bring even more media attention to the Super Bowl, and. the NFL likes media attention almost as much as it does money.

I don’t expect Indianapolis officials to cower from the challenge. 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Allison Melangton is in New Orleans this week on a re-con mission for Indy’s next bid.

The smallish Lucas Oil Stadium, once thought to be a strike against Indianapolis, might now be considered a big plus. This week, Stadium Journey Magazine ranked Lucas Oil Stadium—for the second consecutive year—as the best U.S. venue to watch a sporting event.

The bids for the 2018 Super Bowl are due in May, 2014. The local host committee headed by Melangton will start working on the bid in June or July, she said.

Hopefully Melangton is gathering some good intel this week. Indy is going to need all it can get to emerge from this vicious fight victorious.



  • Weather was a factor
    Indy did a good job, but had it not been for the flukish 60-degree weather, it wouldn't have gone over as well as it did. Yes, there were the hotels-within-walking-distance and new-fangled Georgia Street walkways (which aren't even used now). Those are great things. But I woke up this morning and it was 7 degrees outside. If Indy hosted a game with all the same positive factors but with weather like we're having today - it would not be touted as the best-hosted Super Bowl. Guaranteed. Everything within walking distance means nothing when no one wants to freeze their booty off.
    • why 2018
      hey why 2018 why not go for 2019 then. Also Denver has an outdoor stadium so double BRRRRR and Minn. while indoor (think they still are) everything else is outdoor. And Miami it has rained everytime they have it so who cares about them. If the stadium isn't as big as Dalls more people watch it on TV which bumps up their ratings even higher!!!
    • I Love L.A.
      Once the stadium is built in downtown Los Angeles, the Super Bowl will be a regular event there, held every other year or every third year, fourth at the outset. The NFL is busy giving other cities "their" Super Bowl in the meantime. They will not get to them all, but they'll get to a few. After 2019, the Super Bowl will be played something like this: 2020 - Los Angeles. 2021 - Dallas. 2022 - New York (a new dome) 2023 - New Orleans - 2024 - Los Angeles again. Repeat. The Indy's, San Diego's, Atlanta's, and Houston's will not even be considered. Indianapolis has held its Super Bowl. The one and only it will ever hold. The Super Bowl will he held like this and the NFL will continue to grow big of britches for another decade or so and then it will be time for the diapers. By 2035, it will be semi-fading in that NASCAR-ish sort of way, popular but not like it was, empty seats and lower ratings, struggling a bit. By 2045 it will be about as popular as today's PGA is. By 2055 it is a relic. Now then, the deaths on the field that are soon to occur with auto racing like regularity may diminsh the sport sooner. Also, a changing culture, one in which nearly everything for the purposes of entertainment will be found in a small, electonic box in a virtual-reality world, compelte with sensory applications to include, odor, taste, and nerve-reaction, will supplant watching others do. Concurrent, the collapse of the American economy as we have known it this past half century or so, will hasten the demise as there will simply not be capitol available to fund folly. There will be an economy but it will preclude billionaire investors paying millionaire charges to play a game not considered note-worthy by all but the two oldest generations. Youngsters will not play either of lack of interest or by prohibition (see game deaths). Indebted and bankrupt schools and their districts will no longer be able to sustain athletic programs of any sort. Youth leagues will exist but barely. Municipalities will no longer be able to provide adequate grounds for the football games. Youth leagues will resemble "vintage" or "nostalgia" contests. Tackling will be prohibited in most of the 45 states left in America. In the Republic of Texas, tackling will be permitted. But suffering from an invasion of Mexicans, escaping the Mad Max decline of that nation, all entertainment capitol will be seized to contest the Border Wars, particularly after France pulls out of defending her to save their own nation from economically being forced to join Germany. The 5 percent who hold the capitol in what is left of America may have "gentlemen's football leagues" behind the gates, relegating exhibitions of the once great game to Sunday picnic outings for the elite, but dust bowl America, will not really care, distracted by their inexpensive "entertainment and occupation" devices, which take them to virtually any place or anything, up to an including an illusory perception they are participating in the, for example, the 2013 Super Bowl as a Raven or member of Destiny's Child.
      • Texas Gone?
        Not too surprising, I suppose. Care to name the other four states you predict will bolt? South Carolina? Mississippi? Alabama? Alaska? Morgan County, Indiana?
      • Nice to see Burl bring his "unique" perspective to something other than racing. And it appears he has about the same accuracy in his predictions
      • Burl?
        Is that Burl or George Orwell?
      • irrelevant
        Detroit Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul New York Metro And possibly Denver
      • Weather
        Previous comment in response to J
      • Observation
        Wow. Burl, I bet you're a real treat be around at parties.
      • Snow is awesome...
        but I bet the Indy committee will be looking at ways to almost fully enclose and heat Georgia Street for its upcoming application. Perhaps a series of retractable glass panels between the buildings.
        • Burl
          Burl, when is all this horrible stuff supposed to happen, so I can prepare?

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        Sponsored by
        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.