Indy sends final bid to host 2018 Super Bowl

(WISH Photo/David Barras)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Just one more step stands between Indianapolis and an opportunity to host another Super Bowl–convincing the owners to vote for Indy.

The Super Bowl Bid Committee will be in Atlanta for the owner’s meetings. On May 20, it will put on a crucial 15 minute presentation. The Bid Committee is keeping the bid top secret, but did reveal a few details.

Among the most newsworthy, the $30 million needed by the host committee has been pledged. There is a potential for two new hotels in the downtown area by 2018, and perhaps, most importantly, team owner Jim Irsay will be out of rehab and in Atlanta.

The bid by the city of Indianapolis to host Super Bowl LII is 900 pages. There’s a full copy for the NFL and a shorter version for the 32 owners. There’s also a digital copy for both. Now, it’s on to Atlanta for the 15 minute presentation to the owners.

The big question for Pete Ward, the Chief Operating Officer of the Indianapolis Colts is, would owner Jim Irsay attend.

“Jim’s planning on being at the meeting, yes,” said Ward. “Every owner of the franchise whose city is bidding has a chance to talk for five minutes. And he plans on talking to the ownership.”

Ward wouldn’t give details about Irsay’s rehab after his arrest for impaired driving.

“He has become increasingly more active in terms of lobbying and just kind of keeping tabs on how things are going,” Ward said.

Irsay was arrested in March after being pulled over in Carmel. Shortly after, he entered into a facility. He’s not yet been criminally charged in the case.

For fear of tipping off competitors New Orleans and Minnesota, the Bid Committee wouldn’t say much, but the NFL now requires a social media command center and a Super Bowl Boulevard both first introduced by Indianapolis in 2012, said Allison Melangton, who heads up Indy’s 2018 bid.

“We will take the village plan that we have and we will expand that and add some new elements. That’s all I’m going to say,” said Melangton.

Melangton did say the bid included a mention that two hotels might be built by the 2018 Super Bowl–one at the Pan Am building site, the other at the Illinois Building. But she stressed without them, the city still meets the room requirements of the NFL.

There will also be another Legacy Project, which some say was very important in Indy winning the bid to host in 2012. Once again, the city goes into it’s presentation with $30 million in corporate donations already committed. It’s not a requirement, and the money isn’t a check that goes to the NFL. It’s used by the committee to pay the expenses of hosting the event–an event that in 2012 had a direct spending impact of $176 million for central Indiana.

From now until May 20, the committee will focus on improving it’s presentation. The order won’t be known until the day before when there’s a random drawing for position. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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