By Peter Schwartz
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As I began to write this blog about 14 hours after Tom Brady’s Hail Mary hit the ground just a few feet away from Rob Gronkowski, Indianapolis continues to count the money that has been rolling into the city for the last week to ten days.
The Giants’ 21-17 win over New England capped off a spectacular week here in Indy and the NFL season is now over after the Super Bowl’s maiden voyage into American’s heartland.
As the cleanup begins following the first Super Bowl to be played here in the land of the Colts, it’s clear that Indianapolis did a great job and I would suspect that the biggest game in the world will return here at some point in the future.
Like anything else, doing something for the first time means there is always room for improvement for the next time. The city of Indianapolis showed plenty of hospitality over the last week and, as I’ve mentioned a few times both on the air and here in the blog, you can tell just how much this game meant to the community just by the massive amount of people that flooded downtown Indianapolis every day and night.
Having said that, the city probably needs to add another big hotel or two downtown because rooms, especially for those who didn’t book their trip early enough, were hard to come by. There were many fans and reporters that were forced to stay well outside of the city so adding some more rooms near Lucas Oil Stadium will be important.
Again, this all falls into the category of nitpicking, but the city also needs to add some more taxis the next time around and they have to figure out a way to improve the traffic patterns around downtown. Gridlock was a problem here this week especially on Friday and Saturday night when a lot of people arrived in town.
As far as Lucas Oil Stadium goes as a Super Bowl venue, you couldn’t have asked for more. I had a hunch that would be the case when I was here last year for the Jets/Colts playoff game. The stadium is magnificent and was a deserving venue for the Super Bowl.
Now that Super Bowl XLVI has come and gone, the countdown is on to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans next year. It will be the first Super Bowl in “NOLA” since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf region and the week will play a big role in the community’s ongoing return to normalcy.
Then, in two years, Super Bowl XLVIII will take place outdoors at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in the first every cold-weather battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Members of the NY/NJ host committee were here in town this week to promote the historic game and I’m sure they were taking plenty of notes. The New York/New Jersey area is no stranger to big events, but this will be new found territory for the Big Apple and the Garden State.
The biggest obstacle, other than hoping and praying that there’s no precipitation and that the game-time temperature will be comfortable, is making sure that the Super Bowl won’t be a rumor when it comes to town in two years.
Everything here in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week was centrally located. Everything was in walking distance. That will not be the case in two years as people will have to be shuttled around, not just within New York City, but also back and forth through the Lincoln Tunnel to and from New Jersey.
How will the host committee give NY/NJ a small-town feel?
They have two years to figure it out.
AROUND THE SUPER CITY
While I was here in Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl, I also had a chance to get around town and see what else the city had to offer and my journey took me to a pair of historic sports venues.
The 2012 Super Bowl Media Party took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the venue for the Indianapolis 500. I’m not much of a racing fan, but it was neat to walk out on the track and take a picture with a special edition Super Bowl Indy Car!
I also had the opportunity to go to a Butler University basketball game at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, where parts of the movie “Hoosiers” were filmed. It’s a great atmosphere for college hoops and if you’re every in Indianapolis during the season, try to catch a game.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee for making it all happen!
SUPER FOOTBALL FOR A SUPER CAUSE PART 2
The other day, I told you about a $99 limited edition Giants NFC Championship ball that is raising money for the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in New York. Well, since the Giants came out on top in Super Bowl XLVI, Nikco Sports is making 5,000 new footballs that will feature a Super Bowl panel as well.
In years past, Nikco sports has raised almost $1.7 million for children’s charities around the country from the sale of limited-edition sports memorabilia. To order the ball, call 1-800-345-2868 or go to http://www.nikcosports.com.
That’s all for now! Thanks again to the city of Indianapolis for a great week!
Here’s to a great job by Indy and hello New Orleans in 2013!