City plans bid on 2018 Super Bowl

City and state officials announced Wednesday morning that the city of Indianapolis will bid to host the Super Bowl in 2018.

"I have four words for you: 'Let's do it again,' Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said at a press conference at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Officials likely are emboldened by the financial results of Indianapolis’ first time hosting of the NFL championship game in February, which produced a direct economic impact of $176 million, according to a study by Rockport Analytics commissioned by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.

Allison Melangton, who led the previous effort, will also be in charge of the next effort, officials said.

The next Super Bowl without a chosen host is in 2016. But Mark Miles, chairman of the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee, said a few more NFL stadiums are expected to be built by then, and the 2016 game is likely to go to a city with a new venue.

“The reaction we received from the league itself and its owners was glowing,” Mikes said before the announcement. “By every measure I know about, subjective or objective, Super Bowl XLVI was an enormous success.”

When considering “supply chain” spending by businesses to stock up for the game, in addition to spending of extra wages on overtime, the $176 million impact figure rises to $277.9 million, according to the study.

Other findings from the study showed that 116,000 visitors outside Indianapolis came to the city for the game or related events, and the NFL Experience drew 265,000 visitors.

That drove area hotel occupancy rates to about 93 percent for the four days leading up to the game, and to an eye-popping 99 percent for downtown hotels. The strong capacity lifted daily room rates to $290.
For each dollar visitors spent, about 84 cents stayed in the city, according to the study.

“Those are the kind of numbers I like to hear,” Ballard said at the press conference before announcing the city’s bid. (For a quick recap of local Super Bowl festivities during the weeks prior to the big game, see the video below.)

A decision on the 2018 game likely would be made at the 2014 team owners’ meeting, Miles said. A bid would need to be put together by the end of 2013 or early 2014, which gives the city roughly 18 months to submit its next attempt.

That would give donors to the Super Bowl a two-year break from contributing more money to land the event. Overall, 133 donors gave roughly $28 million toward Super Bowl XLVI. About $1.8 million of that money sits in reserve. The host committee has voted to make the money available should the city pursue another NFL championship, Miles said.

“While we didn’t make them sign pledge forms,” Miles said of the donors, “they were pervasively positive about going after another one.”

Indianapolis Colts Senior Vice President Pete Ward said the city has received a lot of encouragement to bid for a future Super Bowl, much of it coming immediately after the game ended.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from almost anyone inside and outside the league is that this game in Indianapolis was just outstanding in every way,” Ward said. “There’s a lot of momentum for Indianapolis right now.”

The opinions that matter the most are those of the NFL’s 32 team owners, who vote on Super Bowl host cities. Ward said he and Colts owner Jim Irsay have heard “nothing but positives” from team owners about the job Indianapolis did hosting the Super Bowl this year.

But, Ward added, “nothing is guaranteed.”

Indianapolis will need to address concerns about a lack of hotel space downtown. While owners raved about much of the city, complaints surfaced about a lack of prime hotel space for the league’s biggest sponsors. Putting off the bid until 2018, league sources said, would give Indianapolis officials time to develop another large downtown hotel, possibly on the site of the Pan Am Plaza.

The 2013 Super Bowl is set for New Orleans; the 2014 game is scheduled for New York; and the 2015 event is set for Glendale, Ariz.

Other findings from the study showed that the Super Bowl generated $88.6 million in tax dollars, including $42.7 million in federal taxes, $24.9 million in state taxes and $21 million in local taxes.

It also created the equivalent of 3,600 direct full-time jobs and 2,000 indirect full-time jobs.
Local businesses undoubtedly benefitted from the influx. As an example, Melangton pointed out at the press conference that the downtown Steak n Shake served 31,000 hamburger patties during the week of the game and Scotty’s Brewhouse blew through 65,000 chicken wings.

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