Indianapolis announces bid for 2012 Super Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis wants the Super Bowl.

Mayor Greg Ballard announced Tuesday that his city will bid for the 2012 game, its second effort to host the NFL's biggest event.

"Our hat is in the ring," Ballard said at a news conference. "Our downtown is built for an event like this."

Political and civic leaders said this year's bid would emphasize many of the same attributes as last year's bid, including the city's new retractable-roof Lucas Oil Stadium and its experience hosting major sporting events such as the Indianapolis 500 and NCAA Final Four.

But officials declined to comment further on what would make this year's bid more attractive, saying they didn't want to give other cities a competitive advantage.

"There are some things we will simply hold close to the vest," said Mark Miles, president of the bid committee.

Eli Lilly & Co. President John Lechleiter, who helped line up the funding commitments last year, said he was confident the city could again generate the $25 million in private dollars that were raised before the bid presentations in 2007.

"It's clear that we're poised to repeat last year's fundraising success," he said.

The new $700 million Lucas Oil Stadium scheduled for completion in August was again expected to be a centerpiece of the city's bid.

"It's not just another stadium, it's a very special facility," said Colts owner Jim Irsay, who added that NFL owners have been visiting the 70,000-seat stadium in recent months.

Officials said securing a Super Bowl bid would reap economic benefits and international exposure for the city. Miles estimated the public cost for law enforcement and public safety during the event would run between $1 and $2 million.

In 2007 Indianapolis lost the bid for the 2011 Super Bowl to Dallas in a 17-15 vote.

"It was really disappointing when we didn't get it done last time," said Irsay, who again pledged $1 million toward the fundraising effort. "We're going to redouble our efforts and keep going forward and get it done."

The deadline for bids is April 1. Miles said Phoenix, Houston and New Orleans were among the cities that might also vie to host the 2012 game.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.