ATLANTA, Ga. (May 20, 2014) – Indianapolis will make its pitch for a Super Bowl sequel on Tuesday.
FOX59 is with the Super Bowl Committee in Atlanta, where members will make a 15-minute pitch touting the Circle City as the perfect host for the 2018 Super Bowl. The committee revealed Monday that it has a “secret weapon”—special guest Jeff Saturday who could help seal the deal.
When the committee made the pitch in 2007 for the 2011 game, Tony Dungy got the last word, although that bid was ultimately unsuccessful. Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Eugene White served as “the closer” for the 2008 pitch that won Indy the right to host the 2012 Super Bowl.
“We’re the underdog, but I like that. That’s kinda who we are as a city,” said Saturday.
Saturday will join Colts owner Jim Irsay, Hulman and Company’s Mark Miles, committee chair Allison Melangton and USA Football’s Scott Hallenbeck as part of the delegation. The bid includes a Legacy Project with USA Football focused on “heads up” tackling training.
Irsay did not arrive in Atlanta with the rest of the delegation Monday, but Melangton said he would be arriving later in the afternoon and would, indeed, be a part of the pitch despite pending drug charges and his recent treatment for addiction.
Speaking to FOX59 News, Irsay’s daughters Kalen Irsay and Carlie Irsay-Gordon said their dad is doing well and is excited to be a part of the bid.
“It’s definitely, for me, a sigh of relief that he’s going to be able to be back and represent our team,” Irsay-Gordon said.
Irsay’s participation in the bid comes as the Hamilton County prosecutor considers filing criminal charges against him following a March arrest. Police found several different prescription drugs in Irsay’s car, and he was preliminarily charged with operating while intoxicated. Investigators and Irsay’s attorneys are trying to determine if Irsay had prescriptions for those drugs.
A delay in filing formal charges means Irsay can present the bid to other NFL owners without criminal charges hanging over his head this week.
Competition, as always, is fierce. New Orleans—a perennial Super Bowl host—has a multitude of experience and is a favorite spot for the NFL’s championship parties. Minneapolis is also vying for the big game, and the city will boast a new stadium that may give it an edge.
“We definitely are keeping an eye on what the other cities are doing, but we’re really focused on what Indy does best and the things that we’re good at and putting that foot forward,” said Melangton.
Making it this far, however, is already a big win, according to IUPUI Sports Marketing professor Dr. Jay Gladden.
“I don’t think this hurts us at all if we don’t get it,” he explained. “We’re already there having hosted one so even if we don’t get the event, I think it’s not necessarily a loss. I think it’s great that we’re in the final consideration set.”