ATLANTA — Despite going into Tuesday’s pitches to NFL owners for the 2018 Super Bowl confident and ready, ultimately Indianapolis came up short to its cold weather companion Minneapolis.
As the Indianapolis bid committee learned that it was in third place and had been thrown out of the voting process, there was an audible groan in the room.
“We had a tremendous presentation and it’s tough, no one really knows, everyone tries to predict,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said.
Speaking after the vote, Irsay likened the feeling to being in a losing locker room.
Bid chair Allison Melangton also expressed disappointment after years of work and commitments from private donors to fully fund the $30 million needed to put on the event.
“It was an awful lot of work that went into it, a lot of people, a lot of organizations, a lot of corporations that worked hard for us to get the bid, so we’re disappointed,” Melangton said.
After Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis all presented for 15 minutes before the 32 NFL owners, it took four rounds of voting to crown the Vikings’ hometown winner of the 2018 game.
Indianapolis was thrown out in the second round, after receiving the least number of votes.
Committee members said the vote was a clear indication that the owners reward cities for new stadiums. With several stadiums in the works, including one in Altanta that broke ground Monday, bidding again in the next several years could be a tough sell.
Still, the committee said it’s too early to decide.
Retired Colts player Jeff Saturday, who helped make the presentation to owners and was a big part of the process, said he believes Indianapolis is a Super Bowl city and that the committee did everything it possibly could to try and secure the bid.
“I’m excited it is in a cold weather city again, I think that helps us for the future of bringing one back,” Saturday said.
The committee posted a video online thanking fans for their support. You can watch that video here.