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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Breaking News: Indianapolis to Host 2012 Super Bowl

Indianapolis to Host 2012 Super Bowl at the new Lucas Oil Field

Lucas Oil Field

ATLANTA, Ga. (WISH) - It's official! The Super Bowl is coming to Indianapolis in 2012. The decision was announced just moments ago.

This afternoon, Indianapolis' Super Bowl committee presented a bid NFL owners couldn't refuse. Some of the city's key selling points included:

  • The city raised $25 million to host the big game.
  • Lucas Oil Stadium is set to open in August of this year.
  • The new stadium will be connected to the Indiana Convention Center via an indoor pedestrian walkway.
  • Additional suites added to the original bid.
  • Guarantee an extra 100,000 people to attend the NFL Experience.

The next three host sites have already been awarded: Tampa in 2009, South Florida in 2010 and Dallas in 2011.

Indianapolis lost out to Dallas for the 2011 Super Bowl by only two votes. The key stumbling block at the time was apparently the 100,000 seats at Dallas' new stadium. Lucas Oil Stadium will seat about 70,000.

"I think it would be great. Bring a lot of income to the city and be good for the town," said Colts fan Greg Taylor.

In February, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard along with other city and state leaders announced the city's official bid for the 2012 Super Bowl.

"Our hat is in the ring," announced Ballard.

"I feel like Indianapolis, downtown in particular, was practically built to host championship series events," said Mark Miles, a member of the Super Bowl bid team, in January.

The committee needed to convince the league to play in a cold weather city, which some members believe is Indianapolis' biggest downfall.

"There's no league protocol, there's no league rule, no rule ethos about how often they will or won't go to a colder place," said Miles.

A Super Bowl could bring more than $100 million to the city and extra customers to downtown businesses. The convention center is connected to eight hotels with a total of more than 5,000 rooms. Many of those attending the big game will be able to walk from their hotel room to the stadium without even putting on a jacket or carrying an umbrella.

"A lot of people come downtown just to be a part of the festivities and everything that's going on just to be around it, they have no intention of going to the game," said Tony Deardorff, the manager of Jillian's, in January. "It would be a huge boost to the downtown economy at this time of year, no matter who is playing it. The Super Bowl brings a lot of hype."

Basey's Downtown Grill and Spirits sits in the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium. 

"Right across from the stadium is a blessing of its own. But then a Super Bowl on top of it would just be the dressing. It would just be unbelievable," said owner Greg Basey in February. "They think it's just for us downtown. You know, I live in Lebanon, just outside of Lebanon, and you know, the hotels and restaurants up there, they benefit from it too."

In February, people living in Marion County had mixed emotions about the bid.

"It's going to be a tremendous opportunity to showcase the innovation that happens here in Indianapolis, and show that we're still a first-class city," said John Orczyk.

"How much is it going to cost everybody? I know they talk about the money that comes in, but how much is it going to cost the taxpayers? How much money did it cost the taxpayers for Lucas Oil Stadium?" asked Patrick Marlow.

Phoenix and Houston submitted bids to host the 2012 game as well.