I’ve lived in Indianapolis for over 20 years (aside from a 4 year hiatus away) and I’ve never seen the city as electric as it is this week. As many of you reading this may know Indianapolis is the home of the 46th Super Bowl and I have to say that it’s an exciting time for my city. Everything from the gigantic roman numerals on Monument Circle to the now world-famous zipline has helped make Indy a memorable Super Bowl host. To say that I’m happy and proud of my city would be an understatement.
I remember a few years ago when hosting the Super Bowl was just a crazy idea that a few politicians and business leaders had thrown out there for the local media to talk about on the 5 o’clock news. This was relatively soon after Lucas Oil Stadium had been built, but the big concern was that Indianapolis, being a colder city in comparison to Miami or Phoenix, wasn’t quite “hosting material.” Fortunately, Indianapolis had experience hosting big events before. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four has been played in the city 4 times since 1997 and will return again in 2015. The Indy 500 draws 300,000 people annually for what is the most attended one day sporting event in the world. With a new stadium to boot, hosting the Super Bowl turned out to be not so crazy after all. So the city pitched the idea and won the bid to host the big game.
It wasn’t until last week that the Super Bowl buzz really began to manifest itself in the community. Although preparations for the game and its festivities had been underway for months, most people saw it as just another big event somewhere on the horizon. But, of course, that began to change as crews began finishing up the improvements around the stadium and downtown area and began setting up all of the game’s amenities. By the time last Friday rolled around, Indianapolis was more than ready to host the most watched sporting event in the world.
I took some time to check out the downtown area last weekend myself. Although it was pretty crowded and didn’t seem to have a lot to offer someone who didn’t want to spend a ton of money, I was impressed by how well things came together. It was great to see fans of all different teams soaking up the Super Bowl environment as live music roared and people flew down the zip lines. And it was awesome to hear people remark about how nice the city looked or how friendly the people were. I had never experienced a championship environment before, so it was especially neat for me to experience one in my hometown.
I must say that I am incredibly proud of Indianapolis for the work it has done to make sure that this year’s Super Bowl is one of the best ever. For those of you who might not get a chance to see the city this year, all I can say is that you should at least give yourself some time to watch the game this weekend. For those of you who have or will get to experience the electric environment of downtown Indianapolis, congratulations, I hope you enjoyed it.