INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In three months we’ll know if NFL owners pick Indianapolis to host the 2018 Super Bowl. They meet in Atlanta May 19-21. That makes the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium another chance to convince the league that Indy deserves the 2018 game.
The NFL combine is the long weekend when every team in the league has its top brass looking over prospective players.
“900 international media are here as part of the NFL scouting combine. And they’ll not only talk about the x’s and o’s of what’s happenening on the field, inside Lucas Oil Stadium, but inevitably about their experience here,” says Chris Gahl, Vice President of Marketing for Visit Indy.
They are just the kind of guests Indy wants three months to the weekend before trying to convince 32 NFL owners it deserves to host a Super Bowl for the second time.
“Of all the Super Bowl’s I covered, I like the convenience of everything,” says Randy Mcilvoy, a reporter with Houston television station KPRC.
WTMJ Milwaukee reporter Lance Allen says, “I think it deserves it. I’ve been here for the Big Ten championship game, and they were preparing for the Super Bowl at that point. Everything was first class. Really enjoyed myself.”
And analysts from national networks, like ESPN’S Chris Mortensen, have been here before and liked it.
“I would vote very favorably for Indianapolis. And I’m not just saying that because I’m here either,” says Mortensen.
But convincing the NFL to come back in 2018 is still a battle.
“I think the feeling was when we left Indianapolis last time, the NFL wished there had been one more hotel. But, restaurants, proximity, very friendly, pedestrian friendly,” Mortensen said.
New Orleans and Minneapolis are the competition.
“New Orleans is always going to get their Super Bowls. Minneapolis is a great town to. I think the fact that they’re building a new stadium will help them,” says Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
But being here now makes the Indianapolis experience fresh in everyone’s minds. Says Reed’s colleague Mary Kay Cabot, ” I was just talking to another writer a couple of days ago and we’ve been to two Super Bowls since then and both of us said Indy was our favorite.”
Of course, most of those at the combine don’t have a vote for the Super Bowl city. And even locals admit the final decision is so complex, you can’t figure it out until its over. But they also say, having all these people — including coaches from all 32 teams — enjoying another weekend in Indianapolis the February before the May vote certainly can’t hurt.