Indy’s competition for 2018 Super Bowl getting ridiculous

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The competition to land a Super Bowl is always intense.

Indianapolis found that out the hard way, getting jobbed for the 2011 Super Bowl by Dallas, before landing the big game in 2012 on another nail-biter.

The competition for the 2018 Super Bowl is getting down right ridiculous. Indianapolis was the first to officially throw its hat in the ring in early 2012. Coming off what many within the NFL called the best Super Bowl hosting job ever, Indianapolis looked like a strong contender for 2018. Some even were brave enough to suggest the Circle City might get in on a regular host city rotation.

Less than 11 months after jumping into the ring to fight for another Super Bowl, Indianapolis’ ability to secure it in 2018 seems anything but certain. In fact, it now looks like they’re fighting an uphill battle, with some NFL insiders quietly putting their weight behind other cities.

It’s going to take some masterful lobbing by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and another super-creative bid to get Indianapolis back toward the lead in this race.

Heading into this week, here’s the list of cities considering bidding for the 2018 Super Bowl: Miami, San Francisco, Houston, Minneapolis and Dallas. Minneapolis and San Francisco are likely to have new stadiums to flaunt. And we all know how the NFL likes a shiny new stadium for Super Bowls.

No city can generate more money for the NFL and its 32 team owners than Dallas, which despite its problems in 2011, can still boast the ability to pack 100,000 people into the Jerry Jones Dome. And we all know how much the NFL likes money.

As if all that’s not enough, the battle for the 2018 Super Bowl became a full-on bar brawl this week, when the NFL “invited,” I repeat “invited” Denver to bid on the 2018 Super Bowl. I’m not sure what you make of the word ‘invite,’ but in my book, that means ‘you are wanted, desired and lusted after.’

Then on Thursday, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation President & CEO and Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee Executive Director Jay Cicero announced that the group “would like to bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, timed to the city's 300th anniversary.”

Now that’s just dirty pool. How is Indianapolis supposed to compete with that? We all know New Orleans knows how to throw a party. I can’t imagine what they’ll do to tie it in with its tricentennial. If nothing else, that will bring even more media attention to the Super Bowl, and. the NFL likes media attention almost as much as it does money.

I don’t expect Indianapolis officials to cower from the challenge. 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Allison Melangton is in New Orleans this week on a re-con mission for Indy’s next bid.

The smallish Lucas Oil Stadium, once thought to be a strike against Indianapolis, might now be considered a big plus. This week, Stadium Journey Magazine ranked Lucas Oil Stadium—for the second consecutive year—as the best U.S. venue to watch a sporting event.

The bids for the 2018 Super Bowl are due in May, 2014. The local host committee headed by Melangton will start working on the bid in June or July, she said.

Hopefully Melangton is gathering some good intel this week. Indy is going to need all it can get to emerge from this vicious fight victorious.



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