|Indianapolis planning to bid for 2012 Super Bowl|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 29 January 2008 12:59|
Those making the trip plan to meet with NFL officials to update the bid Indianapolis made last year, when it lost out to Dallas in a 17-15 vote among league owners for the 2011 Super Bowl.
Mayor Greg Ballard said Tuesday he was inclined to make a new bid but wanted to review corporate support and the NFL's requirements before making a final decision.
The new bid would highlight many of the same attributes as last year's - including the central location of the city's new retractable-roof Lucas Oil Stadium and its experience with large events such as the Indianapolis 500 and the NCAA men's basketball Final Four - to offset being a snow-belt city.
``Indianapolis is a great football city and, frankly, it deserves a Super Bowl,'' Ballard said. ``They're going to send it back to a cold-weather city on occasion, and this is our time.''
The city's review is expected to be finished in a month, with bids due to NFL officials by April 1.
Some new people will be heading up the bid committee this year following Ballard's election victory in November over Mayor Bart Peterson, who pushed last year's effort and its $25 million in private commitments toward costs for hosting the game.
Ballard appointed Mark Miles, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership economic development group, to lead the new bid evaluation.
While the NFL is adding some new bid requirements, such as a concert event the night before the game, Miles said he did not know of any changes that would derail an Indianapolis bid.
``I don't think there is an American city anywhere that has the expertise and experience of hosting this elite level of championship sports events,'' said Miles, who spent 15 years as CEO of the ATP tennis tour and was president of Indianapolis' organizing committee for the 1987 Pan-American Games.
Co. president John Lechleiter helped line up the funding commitments for last year's bid, but said Tuesday it was too early to know whether more money would be needed.
``I think we've got good reason to believe the support is going to be there again for 2012,'' Lechleiter said.
Colts owner Jim Irsay was a prime backer of last year's bid, promoting it among the NFL owners and contributing $1 million toward the fundraising effort.
Irsay said after last year's effort fell short that he wanted the city to try again. No representatives of the Colts participated in Ballard's news conference on Tuesday and a message seeking comment from Irsay was left for his spokeswoman.
The major point cited in Dallas' advantage for the 2011 game over Indianapolis was that its new stadium could hold up to 100,000 for the Super Bowl. The new $700 million Lucas Oil Stadium scheduled for completion in August in Indianapolis has a potential capacity of about 70,000.
Miles said that Phoenix, Houston and New Orleans were among the cities that might also submit bids for the 2012 game.
``I don't think there is a 100,000-seat stadium out there, but that's the kind of thing we want to look at now in the next couple weeks,'' Miles said.