Unless you were born and raised a Hoosier, the speculation about how well Indianapolis would fair as a host city may not have been the most flattering for the “Crossroads of America.” Certainly at the top of the list of surprises is the outstanding weather that seemed to be the downfall of last year’s game in Dallas with the ice storms. As a Hoosier, I knew not to expect anything I heard from those meteorologists whether I wanted their predictions to hold true or not. Regardless of temperature, however, Indianapolis was well aware of the overflow of crowds that were sure to jade the entire atmosphere of downtown.
What the city may not have anticipated was the media commentary that has blown the big game clear of Lucas Oil Stadium calling it “the most anticipated Super Bowl ever” in several accounts that I’ve heard alone. Being under a microscope and having seemingly the entire world analyze how well you respond to the biggest sporting event in the world will draw sweat to anyone’s brow.
However, an aspect of interest to those that will be judging the overall accommodations is that Indianapolis is largely a “blank slate” according to an indystar.com article. John Nienstedt, the president of Competitive Edge Research & Communication shared his point of view about Indy’s image in the article: “Two-thirds of Americans have no impression of Indianapolis. The rest have a positive impression.” The research conducted by Nienstedt and his firm shows that city’s image will largely be swayed by the weather on game day and obviously the respected members of the national media’s opinion. As far as the weather leading up to game day and the very mild temperatures the city has experienced, we may just be safe in that department. In terms the media’s reports that have been ever so apparent, Indianapolis is already in talks for future Super Bowls and even Mayor Greg Ballard talked lightly about his hopes of being in the regular rotation.
After spending $2.5 billion since 2008 on such civic upgrades as the new airport, a lavish Mariott hotel, convention center expansions and obviously the focal point of the week in Lucas Oil stadium, a city could only hope for these flattering remarks to be placed on a receipt (www.indystar.com). Certainly the happenings of the day and even the response of the city to the champions after the game will play a huge role in whether or not the reputation of Indianapolis is strengthened or tarnished.