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UPDATE: Donors still behind city's bowl bid

December 7, 2007

Indianapolis will make another attempt to lure the Super Bowl to the city, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association President Bob Bedell said today.

In May, NFL owners voted to play the 2011 Super Bowl at the Dallas Cowboys' 100,000-seat stadium under construction in Arlington, Texas. The North Texas bid beat out proposals from Indianapolis and Glendale, Ariz.

Indianapolis is the first city to announce it is in the running for the 2012 game.

Bedell said the NFL's bid specifications are not drastically different than they were for 2011: It's requiring a "couple thousand" more than the 70,000 seats mandated last time around and a new public event for fans.

"It's up to the cities to suggest where that might happen and what that might consist of," he said.

When Indianapolis bid to host the 2011 Super Bowl at the 72,884-seat capacity Lucas Oil Stadium, organizers promised a "world-class celebration" at Conseco Fieldhouse the night before the big game.

One strong point of the city's 2011 bid was that organizers lined up $25 million in private donations to cover host-city expenses before Indianapolis made its pitch. Bedell said most of those same donors have made commitments to a 2012 bid.

"I believe that every company that pledged for 2011 is in for 2012," he said.

The ICVA and Mayor-elect Greg Ballard's transition team have talked for weeks about bidding on the 2012 Super Bowl and decided to move ahead with the plans, Bedell said. The NFL released its bid requirements last month.

City boosters were disappointed by the May decision, but they were not deflated. The vote in the final balloting was as close as it could be - 17-15, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said at the time.

It's not clear yet which other cities will go after the 2012 event. There is speculation within NFL circles that Glendale, Ariz., and New Orleans will pursue the game.

"Our working group is waiting for direction from ... the Ballard team on who else is going to participate, who's going to lead and who's going to ... execute the bid," Bedell said.

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