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Indianapolis, the best Super Bowl host city ever?
I know, it sounds a little preposterous given the mega tourist destinations that have hosted this game over its 46-year history—New Orleans, San Diego, Pasadena and Miami, to name just a few.
But I didn’t say it. Neither did a member of the local host committee, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association or the mayor’s office.
I almost fell out of my recliner this morning when CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell said on ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show that Indianapolis is going to be the best host city this storied event has ever seen.
"I'm going to say something really crazy right now," Rovell said. "Indianapolis is the best Super Bowl city I've ever seen."
Wow, those are strong words. But Rovell didn’t stop there.
He went on to chronicle exactly why Indianapolis would be such a strong host. He said the compact nature of the city will make this year’s Super Bowl a one-of-a-kind experience, making it possible to see and do more at this Super Bowl than many others in the past.
And he added the city’s downtown should make it relatively easy to travel from one Super Bowl star-studded party to the next.
“It takes an hour or two hours to go five miles during the Super Bowl,” Rovell said. "Indianapolis is like eight blocks."
Well, it's not quite that small. But you get the point.
One of the show’s hosts, Mike Greenberg, recalled having to take a lengthy boat ride to get to parties in Jacksonville, Fla.
And remember that Rovell, though stationed out of New York, has been to Indy for events like the Final Four and NFL Combine. He has a bit of exposure here, and that should lend credibility to his endorsement.
“If it’s part of the weekend … if it’s the whole weekend experience, which you can’t discount, I think Indianapolis is a tremendous [Super Bowl] city,” Rovell said.
While Greenberg said he had never before considered the upside of Indy's downtown nature, his co-host, Notre Dame graduate Mike Golic, chimed in, "It is a great city, I really like the city."
Will Indianapolis be widely considered the best host in Super Bowl history? I hear that suggested by local event organizers and other homers all the time.
As an Indianapolis lifer, I don’t need an outsider to tell me what my home brings to the table to an event such as the Super Bowl.
Still, after this morning, that notion seems much less preposterous.