Locals confident city could host another Super Bowl, despite change in selection process

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When NFL owners met late last month to select Glendale, Arizona, and New Orleans as the sites for the 2023 and 2024 Super Bowls, no other cities were even considered.

That’s because the NFL has changed the way it chooses Super Bowl host cities. Instead of letting multiple cities submit bids and square off against one another, like they typically have, the league has decided to negotiate with a single, handpicked city.

The new process is designed to give the NFL greater control over where the event is staged each year.

So what does this mean for Indianapolis, which hosted the Super Bowl in 2012? And will league officials reach out to the city under the new format?

Local sports and tourism officials think so.

“I feel like our reputation and resume for hosting major sporting events will keep us in the conversation,” said Ryan Vaughn, Indiana Sports Corp. president. “I would have to believe we’re at least in the discussion.”

Visit Indy Vice President Chris Gahl echoed Vaughn’s sentiments.

“Based on Indy’s proven track record hosting major sporting events, we feel confident Indy would be an outstanding host to a second Super Bowl,” he said in an email. “Alongside the Colts, the Mayor’s Office, and the Indiana Sports Corp., we will continue to monitor and evaluate future options. “

For the Colts part, team spokesman Steve Campbell said "we think Indianapolis should be a part of that conversation, and we hope that we are."

The NFL’s decision to negotiate with a single city mirrors how cities are chosen to host the College Football Championship Game. Indianapolis in November was selected to host the College Football Playoff National Championship game in 2022.

The game will be played Jan. 10, 2022, in Lucas Oil Stadium to decide the champion of the 2021 season. It will be the first time Indianapolis has hosted the event.

The game and related activities are expected to draw 100,000 visitors to the city and have a $150 million economic impact on the region.

“The CFP (College Football Playoff) did the same thing; they didn’t go out with a competitive process,” Vaughn said. “We went to work and put together a responsive bid and we were able to get a deal done.”

If the NFL calls upon Indianapolis to host another Super Bowl, the soonest year available is 2025.

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