City leaders are working feverishly to maximize Indianapolis' week in the Super Bowl spotlight, hoping to brand the Circle City in the minds of convention and leisure travelers as a place to return and spend hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.
Like every host city, Indianapolis has tried to stand out with unusual features for the 10-day party it's hosting for the nation. But will any of those things become standard parts of future Super Bowl experiences?
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While many of the local companies scoring a Super Bowl windfall predictably will be hotels, restaurants and retail outlets, there will be a cadre of more unlikely winners from one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Downtown businesses that are not in tourist-dependent industries are girding for Super Bowl weekend, hoping their spot in the big game’s storm shadow brings only a light dusting of logistical, scheduling and personnel hassles.
The city’s biggest event of the year will be run almost entirely by an army of volunteers. Some 8,000 volunteers are helping to execute the preparations for the Super Bowl, which is expected to draw 150,000 visitors.