The 2018 Super Bowl will take place in a cold weather market, it just won’t take place in Indianapolis. Last week, the NFL owners awarded Minnesota the bid as a result of the ongoing construction of a new $500 million stadium. Although Indianapolis’ bid was more lucrative, bringing in an additional $14M of revenue, the NFL owners rewarded the Minnesota market for its new multi-million dollar investment.
It’s a tough blow for the 2018 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee and the business community as a whole. By all indications, they proposed a strong bid. Former Colts’ star center, Jeff Saturday, who is highly regarded among league circles, was used as the closing speaker. The proposal emphasized volunteerism and community involvement and used the pictures and fond memories of the 2012 Super Bowl (previously hosted by Indianapolis) to its advantage.
It’s unlikely that Indianapolis will make a bid to host the 2019 Super Bowl. The NFL has never hosted back-to- back Super Bowls in a cold weather market, and each proposal requires a serious amount of capital fundraising and planning. Still, Indianapolis has proven to be a marquee city, specifically when it comes to hosting major sporting events including events like the Final Four and Big Ten Championships.
The 2012 Super Bowl was regarded as a huge success for the city, as the NFL higher-ups and national media appreciated the friendliness and Midwestern charm of the city. The city has always made it a focal point to cross all T’s and dot all I’s, when it comes to its regimented planning in the hosting of its major sporting events. ESPN’s Adam Schefter went as far to say that it should be in a five-year cycle among Super Bowl host cities.
My personal take is that simply not enough time had elapsed from 2012. When Indianapolis was awarded the 2012 Super Bowl, it was almost an unprecedented move by the league. Other than Detroit (Super Bowl XL), it was seemingly one of the first cold weather, small market cities to host a Super Bowl. The league had previously rewarded the city for its construction of Lucas Oil Stadium, just like it recently did with Minnesota and its new stadium for 2018. I have no doubts that Indianapolis will eventually receive another opportunity to host a Super Bowl, but I just think they may have to wait a little longer than they had originally hoped for. The city should not give up; rather, they should come back even more determined and with an even stronger bid. They will, but it’s more just a matter of when now.