Indianapolis cleans up after 1.1M Super Bowl guests

An eye-popping 1.1 million people visited Super Bowl Village in downtown Indianapolis during its 10-day run.

Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee leaders recapped the city’s hosting of the big game during a Monday morning press conference and said they were extremely pleased with the number of visitors to the events leading up to Sunday’s game.

Visitors to Super Bowl Village far outpaced expectations, leading committee CEO Allison Melangton and Chairman Mark Miles to use baseball analogies to sum up their feelings about the city’s first Super Bowl experience.

Melangton said Indianapolis hit a “grand slam,” while Miles said the city “knocked it out of the park.”

Visits to the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center outpaced past similar National Football League events by 30 percent, topping 265,000. And more than 10,400 people rode the wildly popular zip line on Capitol Avenue, which translates to about 100 an hour.

“Obviously, the weather was unbelievable. I guess that’s what happens when you spend two years on a weather plan,” Melangton jokingly said. (For a quick recap of the zipline experience and other highlights from Super Bowl festivities, see the video below.)

The mild temperatures kept downtown crowds outdoors, pushing the capacity of Super Bowl Village to its limits Friday night during an LMFAO concert. The downside was that downtown restaurants might not have captured as much business as they had expected.

Meanwhile, city workers began cleaning up Georgia Street, the epicenter of Super Bowl festivities, Monday morning. Much of the trash strewn about the area, including on South Meridian Street where many New York Giants fans celebrated a victory Sunday night, was gone by Monday morning.

The city’s Department of Public Works had employees cleaning the site around the clock, in two 12-hour shifts.

“Our goal was to keep the streets as clean as possible,” DPW spokeswoman Kara Brooks said.

The Verizon Stage on Pennsylvania Street near Bankers Life Fieldhouse should be disassembled on Monday, allowing the street to reopen to traffic.

Meridian and Illinois streets are set to reopen no later than Wednesday afternoon. Capitol Avenue near the Indiana Convention Center and South Street near Lucas Oil Stadium should reopen Saturday.

The NFL Experience at the convention center should be cleared out of the building within 10 days. The Dealer Expo 2012 conference is set to begin at the convention center Feb. 17. The three-day convention is expected to attract 14,000 exhibitors and is one of the city’s largest conferences.

The giant Super Bowl XLVI Roman numerals on Monument Circle are scheduled to be removed Tuesday.

“There were two winners of Super Bowl XLVI,” Miles said. “Both the Giants and Indianapolis came out on top.”

That’s small consolation to Brendan Murphy of Danvers, Mass., who attended the game only to see his beloved New England Patriots lose to the Giants 21-17. Still, he managed to muster praise for Indianapolis.

“It’s disappointing,” he said, “but the city was great.”


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