It would seem logical if an NFL labor strife would somehow inexplicably scuttle the entire 2011 season and 2012 Super Bowl
set to be in Indianapolis, that the Circle City would simply get back in at the head of the line.
Not so fast. And not so simple.
The 2013 Super Bowl has already been awarded to New Orleans. And Roger Goodell made it clear in an interview with ESPN Radio yesterday before the Super Bowl that the 2014 Super Bowl is going to be in either Arizona, Tampa or New York.
And if New York doesn’t get it in 2014, NFL sources have indicated the league’s biggest market will definitely get the game in 2015.
So 2015 would be the earliest Indianapolis would be put back in line, and likely not until 2016.
By that time, Lucas Oil Stadium will be seven or eight years old. Shoot, plans for a new football structure could be in blue print form by then.
The good news, I suppose, is that the economic impact for the Super Bowl—now estimated at $450 million—could be close to $1 billion by then.
All kidding aside, there’s little Indianapolis’ local host committee can do beyond crossing their fingers and praying. This is in the hands of NFL owners and the players union.
Given that the NFL has grown into an $8 billion industry, there’s reason to believe players and owners might be able to figure out a way to divide it amicably and make sure Indianapolis gets a few crumbs to boot.
March 5 is a critical date to get a deal done before the NFL heads into 2010 as a capless season. Some say if that happens, we’re all on a highway to labor strife hell.
Meanwhile, Goodell is preaching for patience while all this gets worked out.
If his optimism runs dry and a deal isn’t done soon, it may take more patients than local businesses anticipating an economic windfall in February, 2012 can stand to wait on.
To read more growing concerns over the 2011 season and 2012 Super Bowl, click here.