(ATLANTA, GA) - Indianapolis finds out this afternoon if it will host another Super Bowl in 2018. If it wins the bid, the preparation starts almost immediately.
Bid committee secretary Rafael A. Sanchez says some elements of the city's plan can just be plucked off the shelf -- like the severe weather plan, which never got used in 2012 thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures. But not everything will be that simple. The NFL has updated its bid requirements, and some elements will have to be revisited to keep up.
One new component of the bid specifications is a "Super Bowl Boulevard," modeled on the Super Bowl Village which Indianapolis introduced. Although the idea originated in Indy, the city is proposing an expanded version stretching to Monument Circle if it gets the bid.
Sanchez says the first task will be to expand manpower. The bid committee has purposely been kept to just 75 people to preserve confidentiality. If the game is awarded to Indianapolis, the host committee will move to form working committees for different aspects of the game.
One argument the city will make to the NFL owners is that it can get started on preparations faster than New Orleans or Minneapolis, because the funding is already in place. The city also notes it's fresh from its well-reviewed first outing, although New Orleans can claim an even more recent hosting experience, in 2013.
If the game goes to New Orleans or Minneapolis, Sanchez says Indy may not jump into the competition for 2019. The city is pursuing other events -- it's in the running for another NCAA Final Four sometime between 2017 and 2020. And Sanchez says the Super Bowl competition looks fiercer beyond 2018.
Jim Irsay Returns To Colts Front Office
Colts owner Jim Irsay spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest in March on several charges including operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Irsay spoke to media outlets in Atlanta ahead of the NFL owners meeting where Indianapolis, Minneapolis and New Orleans will submit their bids to host the Super Bowl in 2018. Those presentations will be made Tuesday with Indiana Sports Corporation President Allison Melangton and former Colts center Jeff Saturday presenting for Indy.
Irsay said the track record established with Super Bowl 46 gives Indy an edge. He says the Super Bowl Village became a staple for future Super Bowls along with the Legacy Project.
Part of Indy's bid includes the Legacy Project which includes a proposal to promote safety in youth football. He said those factors combined with the fact that Indy has raised all of the money in needs ahead of time gives the city the best bid.
However, he said he can't predict whether the NFL owners will vote for Indy to get the big game in 2018.
Irsay declined to comment on his March arrest and the stint in rehab which followed it. His court hearing on the preliminary charges was postponed after he was admitted to a rehab facility.
He could still face criminal charges and discipline by the NFL. However, Irsay did thank the fans for their support over the last few months.
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