INDIANAPOLIS – It was eight years ago when the Super Bowl came to the Circle City, wowing visitors who gave our city rave reviews.
But will it ever happen again?
We recently took that question to local officials, who said they’d like to bring the big game back if the opportunity presents itself to host again in the future.
“It was a magical event. It just really clicked,” said 2012 host committee chair Mark Miles during an appearance on the “Leaders and Legends” podcast.
While the city tried to land the Super Bowl again in 2018, league owners selected Minneapolis’ new stadium to host the game instead. Still, officials at Visit Indy know our Super Bowl legacy lives on through other big events in the city.
“The sports portfolio Indianapolis has to showcase is unprecedented,” said Visit Indy vice president Chris Gahl. “No other city has this portfolio.”
And that portfolio is growing in a very big way- with three major events in the next two years that bring an economic impact into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
“From a tourism perspective, it’s twice the impact when you look at the economics of hosting the Super Bowl,” said Gahl.
It starts with the NBA All-Star Game next February, then two months later, the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Then in January 2022, it’s the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“It’s a great event as far as exposure goes,” said Susan Baughman, president of the city’s host committee. “It’s a very big deal, it’s one of the biggest sporting events in the world.”
“To host that championship event and be the first cold weather city to tackle that is really a reflection on Indy and our ability to host these events,” said Ryan Vaughn, president of the Indiana Sports Corporation.
“This is really a unique time in the history of sports in Indianapolis,” said David Pierce, Director of Sports Innovation Institute at IUPUI. “We’re pushing the envelope on how we engage and set the bar for what other cities will do.”
But when it comes to hosting another Super Bowl, experts like Pierce say it could be a while.
“One of the challenges certainly will be that northern cities typically get a Super Bowl when there’s a new stadium,” said Pierce.
And certainly, the next few Super Bowls are in warm weather cities or brand new stadiums, including the massive new stadium in Los Angeles.
“Certainly the competition to attract these continues to grow,” said Vaughn. “You’ve got Las Vegas, Los Angeles building, Miami renovating, New Orleans is going to be renovating at some level.”
Still, Vaughn and team officials with the Colts say it’s something they want to pursue in the future,
“As we stand here today there aren’t definite plans to pursue it,” said Steve Campbell, Colts vice president of communications. “I don’t want to speak for the mayor or anyone else but here at the Colts we would love to host another Super Bowl, but it’s got to be the right time.”