(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indianapolis will need to raise $30 million for another Super Bowl bid, and organizers of the 2012 events believe the city can do it.
The 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee directors unanimously voted to pursue Super Bowl LII earlier this week after gathering input from community partners. City leaders announced plans to make a bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl on Friday morning.
Indianapolis is facing competition from New Orleans, Minneapolis and Tampa, according to Allison Melangton, president of Indiana Sports Corp. and head of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.
Governor Mike Pence, Mayor Greg Ballard, Colts owner Jim Irsay and Melangton, along with others, spoke at Friday's announcement.
Besides cash, Indianapolis will need volunteers, ideas and enthusiasm - all things that Melangton believes the city has an abundance of. She also told reporters Friday that Indianapolis has enough hotel rooms to host the big game.
Indianapolis' successful 2012 bid marked a departure for the NFL, which had previously chosen warm-weather cities to host the Super Bowl. The unseasonably mild weather was considered a fortunate factor in the ten days leading up to the game.
City leaders will play their cards close in the months leading up to the October announcement of cities that make the NFL's short list. Twenty-six people will serve on the board. If Indianapolis makes the October cut, the next deadline is in April and
Colts owner Jim Irsay said Indianapolis set the gold standard for Super Bowl hosting, and he is confident the city will host another one. Former Colts player Jeff Saturday sang the city's praises for the fun, safe family environment during the 2012 event.
A meaningful legacy project will likely form part of the city's bid. The Indianapolis east side was the main benefactor of the 2012 Super Bowl legacy project, with the Chase Legacy Center on the campus of Arsenal Tech High School.
Melangton said they are not hiring right now, because the city does not yet have the bid.
By most accounts, Indianapolis exceeded expectations during the 2012 games. While the warm weather helped, so did things like the Super Bowl Village on the newly revamped Georgia Street and the zip line down Capitol Avenue.
"It's a fantastic move," said University of Indianapolis business professor Matt Will. "The economic impact was more than we'd ever dreamed it would be."
More than 100,000 people came to Indianapolis during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, bringing an economic impact of nearly $300 million. Half of that was spent on hotels and shopping and 20 percent on food and drink.
"We brought $295 million dollars from outside the city into Indianapolis. That is an incredible impact, definitely something we should try to do again," Will said.
The city had to spend millions too on public safety and infrastructure, including a rehabbed Georgia Street and the Super Bowl Village. Something that's now ready and waiting for the next game.
"Great news," says Carlos Harrington, manager of The Pub at Georgia and Pennsylvania streets.
He remembers the celebrities and the sales from our first Super Bowl. But it's the February 2012 "sweater weather" that he worries about.
"Indianapolis got 100 percent lucky, you have to say that. To press it again," said Harrington. "You're really looking for some magic stuff to happen. February last year was very cold."
But Will is optimistic.
"Allison Melangton (who ran the Super Bowl in 2012) was ready. Mayor Ballard was ready. If we had the snow, I don't think we would have missed a beat," he said.
So how do you top that? Adam Payne, a pilot from Houston, here during the Super Bowl, believes Indy will figure it out.
"Indianapolis is going to be stiff competition. It's a beautiful town. There's a lot of experience here," he said.
Remington Flores works for a company that helps set up events. Even though he's a diehard Pats fan, he'd love to set up a Super Bowl party in Colts country.
"It depends on what they do to top last time. It's definitely changed and brining more publicity here, so hopefully another one will come around," said Flores.
The manager of an local Dunkin' Donuts thinks the city should expand Super Bowl Village, add more zip lines and bring in new attractions.
"Like a really small Indy 500, that would be great! With go carts!"
First, though, Indianapolis has to make the first cut and get invited by the NFL to make a formal bid. That decision won't be made until October.
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