As leader of Indianapolis’ bid to win the 2018 Super Bowl, Allison Melangton of Indiana Sports Corp spent last Sunday walking around the New Orleans Mercedes Benz Superdome, instead of inside watching the game.
Melangton was sizing up the competition to host Super Bowl LII.
“As of last Tuesday…New Orleans announced they would bid on 2018,” said Melangton.
When the lights went out during the third quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl, Melangton was back in her New Orleans hotel and recalling that two years ago Dallas hosted a Super Bowl without enough seats for ticket holders and a snow removal plan that faltered in the face of unseasonable Texas weather.
Only Indianapolis, home of Super Bowl XLVI, was flawless during the last three years.
“I don’t think that’s a fact lost on anyone,” said Melangton.
A committee of about half a dozen local leaders, including an official with the Indianapolis Colts, is slowly developing the city’s bid application to NFL owners for consideration of the 2018 game.
If that application is successful, Indianapolis will be invited this fall to make a full presentation to the owners in May of next year.
“I would expect Tampa and Atlanta to bid,” said Melangton. “Potentially North Texas depending on what happens with Houston for the 2017 game and Minnesota is building a new stadium and we’re keeping an eye on that and the timeline.”
Houston, San Francisco and Miami are in the running for the 2016 and 2017 games with the odd-city-out expected to bid in 2018.
Melangton said the NFL is looking to spread the Super Bowl to different geographic regions, putting Indianapolis ahead of the competition for the Midwest.
“The winter Super Bowls are going to be awarded few and far between,” she said. “Our biggest challenge is when the Minnesota stadium is completed and if they would be ready to host in ’18 and any other cold weather cities that decide to step forward.”
The NFL requires winter cities to have a domed stadium, which Indianapolis has, and enough hotel rooms to house fans, the media and the teams.
“As the bid specifications are written right now,” said Melangton, “we have enough hotel rooms.”
Melangton expects the Super Bowl committee could raise approximately $26 million to bid and host the 2018 game, a figure comparable to the 2012 plan.
Indianapolis’ experience and tradition of supplying a large volunteer force and family-oriented Super Bowl will weigh in the city’s favor with NFL owners.