Indy sports, tourism groups hear disappointing Super Bowl news

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INDIANAPOLIS – After months of planning and anticipation, we now know that Super Bowl 2018 will be held in Minneapolis, not here in Indianapolis. Tuesday, the city’s delegation pitched our plan, but the NFL owners voted for the Twin Cities and their brand new, billion dollar stadium.

Indy has offered bids for four games and only won one, which it hosted in 2012.

The groans of defeat weren’t limited to that conference room in Atlanta, where our delegation heard the news. People in Indianapolis sounded off after the announcement, frustrated yet hopeful for the future.

In fact, before the vote tension and nervousness filled a large conference room at the Indiana Convention Center downtown. It was the place where both Visit Indy and Indiana Sports Corp hoped to hear of a repeat, another Super Bowl held in Indianapolis.

But after the city got cut, the room emptied fast. Chris Gahl with Visit Indy admitted, the “no” was hard to take.

“It’s the gravity of the ‘no.’ It’s that it’s not going to work and all those great ideas that we had put online and thought about in an attempt to turn the NFL owners toward Indianapolis was, might not be able to come to fruition,” he said.

But despite the failed attempt, those with Indiana Sports Corp remind us that the city will stay very busy. The NCAA Final Four is slated for Indianapolis in 2015, along with upcoming Big Ten football and basketball championships.

“We will continue to showcase what’s great about central Indiana and how we run events,” said John Dedman, with Indiana Sports Corp.

Still, it’s a blow for the city. A study done after the 2012 Super Bowl showed it brought 116,000 visitors to Indianapolis, along with $342 million in spending that came in from outside the region. Overall gross spending added up to $384 million.

“You constantly are canvassing the horizon for what the city can host, what we’re capable of hosting, what’s going to be beneficial to the community,” said Gahl.

As helpful as another Super Bowl would’ve been for the bottom line, it’s about community pride too.

“I was a little bummed, hoping to have it here. I missed it when it was the first time,” said Kaylan Peck.

It’s a ‘no’ that’s hard to hear for locals, hoping for a second chance.

“It’s sad. I wish we could’ve gotten it again,” said Matt Taylor.

While all of Indy’s bid committee members told FOX59 in Atlanta they wanted us to host another Super Bowl, there’s no word on when they will try again.

Here in Indy, Dedman told FOX59 on Tuesday they would get into the mix when the time was right.