Indianapolis Is a Horrible Super Bowl Site, and I Can Prove It
When the capital of Indiana was awarded a Super Bowl in May 0f 2008, fans and media that cover the NFL were stunned. How did this relatively sleepy midwestern town lure in the biggest game of the year? The answer should be obvious to everyone.
They used witchcraft.
But seriously, props to Indy for bagging the biggest single game in sport. However, the host city and Lucas Oil Stadium as venues for Super Bowl week will fall short in a lot of ways. Instead of crafting a handful of biting, unfounded generalizations, I'll deconstruct the viability of Indiana's state capital as a Super Bowl site with, get this, actual facts and figures. It'll be awesome, and maybe even a little terrifying. Don't be afraid.
Won't you join me as we break it down in this latest slideshow/photo essay/clickfest? I knew that you would.
Second Update: Thanks to Tweeter Stephen H (@SSJH13) for pointing out Indianapolis' open container provision, one which even many of the city's residents were unaware. That particular slide has been updated.
And again, you're more than welcome to email me at joshz at bleacherreport dot you know what. This is not a monologue, this is a dialogue, and I look forward to hearing from you.
The Weather for Super Bowl Week Will Be Horrible
So the Giants and Patriots are playing in a dome. That's great, but what about the rest of Super Bowl week?
The extended forecast is already out for the big week, and the outlook is bland. The high temperature won't exceed 43 degrees, and rain is expected for at least two days, some of which may freeze at night, making a strained transportation situation even more tenuous (more on that in a bit).
Look, I don't want to come off as enabling the whining of sportswriters sent to cover the big game, but when the NFL can decide to hold the game anywhere in the country, wouldn't it be optimal to pick a locale where the only depressing aspect of the game was Eli Manning?
The Hotel Situation Is Horrible
One report projects that over 100,000 people will be crashing the Circle City for Super Bowl week. That's great...except that downtown Indy only has about 7,100 hotel rooms.
Even a hotel room 10 miles out of the city—that normally go for $85 a night—could cost you $1,000 for a night's stay. But don't sweat it. The Boston Globe is reporting that you (yes, you!) can rent out the meeting spaces of a local business as lodging...for just $170 a night!
That queen-sized conference table would be great for your spina bifida.
Transportation Throughout Indianapolis Will Be Horrible
So all of those people converging on downtown Indianapolis will have the added treat of no public rail system, a shoddy bus system and about 1,300 fewer cabs than the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, where last year's Super Bowl was held.
That means more rental cars for folks coming into town, and with them, more traffic. And consider that fans of the Giants and Patriots in pockets of the Midwest will actually drive to the game instead of flying. Driving around aimlessly isn't just for race car fans anymore. Who needs parking when most of those cars will just be stuck on I-70 anyway?
Leisure Options Downtown Are Horrible
Men's Health rated Indianapolis as America's 50th saddest city. At least that's what I think it said. I was too busy staring at some guy's abs on the cover to know for sure. Like most major cities, Indy has an art museum, a zoo and some canal thing also known as punter Pat McAfee's personal drunk tank. Great.
So what does Indianapolis have in store for those football fans? A zip-line. No, I'm serious. Who among us doesn't think of riding a cable, stationed 100 feet in the air, for 800 feet, at the mention of a Super Bowl? I'm sure it'll be easy to find, too. Just sniff out the 260-yard line of barf on the street, and then look upwards.
Even the NFL Thought an Indy Super Bowl Was a Horrible Idea
It's believed that the only reason Indianapolis got a Super Bowl is because the NFL used it "as a carrot" for building a new arena. The city reported a $50 million budget shortfall less than 18 months ago, but that didn't stop them from joining the state to share $620 million of the cost for Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts, for the record, only contributed $100 million.
And there's a reason why carrots like that are dangled in the first place. The stadium, in all of its retractable-roofed glory, costs $20 million just to keep the lights on every year. Apparently, nobody saw that coming. And Indianapolis Business Journal reported that the city's Capital Improvement Board was expecting to lose almost a million dollars on the Super Bowl. Plus this week's visiting NFL employees will actually be exempt from paying most of the taxes that the city implemented to pay for the stadium in the first place.
Did you catch all of that, Minneapolis?
There's No Place to Get Drunk in Public [...except Everywhere!]
New Orleans has Bourbon Street. Miami has South Beach. Indianapolis has...The Ball & Biscuit? Why can't I just drink and pee in the street like a normal human being?
Update: Apparently I can, since most alcohol permits issued by the state allow patrons to leave bars with drinks in hand. Hey, one out of two is pretty good!
Alec Baldwin Doesn't Live There
Seriously, how good of a Super Bowl could this be without Alec Baldwin? That dude is awesome.
Alright, I think I've made my point.