Indy scores 2012 Super Bowl

December 29, 2008
In May, Indianapolis narrowly won the right to host the 2012 Super Bowl, beating out Phoenix and Houston at the National Football League owners' meeting in Atlanta.

The owners' vote was drenched with drama. It took four rounds of voting before any city received the required level of support.

Landing the big game was sweet vindication for Indianapolis. A year earlier, it narrowly lost the right to host the 2011 game to North Texas, where Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is building a $1.1 billion, 100,000-seat stadium.

Indianapolis officials had gone to great lengths to secure the 25,000 hotel rooms required by league bid specifications. They also hammered home the city's strengths, including downtown connectivity and history of hosting big events, from the 1987 Pan Am Games to the Indianapolis 500 and NCAA men's basketball Final Fours.

The city's bid committee made a number of big promises to the 32 NFL team owners. Now it has to deliver.

For instance, local officials promised to raise attendance at the NFL Experience, the league-owned fan attraction at every Super Bowl, by at least 100,000. Attendance at this year's Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., was 220,000.

A major part of the bid was the so-called NFL "legacy" project, which calls for spurring redevelopment on the city's blighted near-east side by building a $9 million indoor training facility at Arsenal Tech High School. Organizers hope that investment prompts a multimillion-dollar revamp of the surrounding area.

Before the vote, Indianapolis lined up with $25 million in corporate and individual support to fund various Super Bowl operations. 
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