Indianapolis wants another Super Bowl, but the second time around could be a tougher sell.
If it's Indy vs. Miami, Miami wins.
If it's Indy vs. New Orleans, New Orleans wins.
If it's Indy vs. Glendale, Ariz., Glendale wins.
I think Indy can take Detroit.
Indianapolis displayed a golden touch during its first stint hosting the Super Bowl last February. Things the city could control, it managed to perfection: Transportation, security, concerts and other events were planned and executed without a hitch. The one factor Indy couldn't control – the weather – cooperated with unprecedented February pleasantness. You could wear a polo shirt, no jacket.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced Wednesday the city will bid to bring the Super Bowl back in 2018. The NFL will decide on that bid in 2014.
Ballard pointed, justifiably so, to all the success Indy had the first time around.
The week leading up to the game brought hundreds of thousands of people into Indianapolis, with 265,000 tickets sold to the NFL Experience at the Indiana Convention Center. The Super Bowl host committee said it found that 99 percent of media mentions about Indianapolis during the event were positive. Those in the negative 1 percent were probably Patriots fans.
Few would argue that Indy was anything but a perfect host in its Super Bowl debut.
I'd love to see the Super Bowl return, for obvious selfish reasons. There's nothing like having the country's biggest sporting event in your backyard.
I just believe it's going to be much tougher to persuade the NFL to approve a sequel. Tougher, but far from impossible.
Indy as a destination doesn't have the natural appeal of, say, Miami. No beaches. No guaranteed warm weather. No South Beach nightclub ambiance for the NFL players who converge on the city.
There will again be questions about the weather and the potential problems for a Midwestern city in late winter. Indy lucked out this year. It could end up with a snow or ice storm in 2018. That would put a major damper on the weeknight outdoor concert by whoever is 2018's version of LMFAO.
Lucas Oil Stadium also remains one of the smaller venues in seating available, despite its gargantuan dimensions. That will be a factor, too. The first Super Bowl was, in part, a reward for constructing the stadium. That's often seen as a one-time deal.
A new bid will be costly, too. Local companies contributed $28 million for the 2012 Host Committee. All but $1.8 million was spent, according to the Indianapolis Star. Host committee representatives told the Star 74 of 133 donors have participated in evaluation sessions and most expressed enthusiasm in another Super Bowl bid. This may be the least of Indy's concerns. Business leaders will look at the estimates of $152 million in direct spending the first time and likely believe in investing.
Assuming the Colts continue to be one of the NFL's stable, productive franchises, and owner Jim Irsay is in good standing with commissioner Roger Goodell (i.e. doesn't start a Twitter fight), that could be a help.
The NFL has not made a habit of returning to cities, especially those outside warm-weather climates.
But Indy could be helped by the fact it is so costly to host a Super Bowl, which will limit the number of cities making a bid. If the choices come down to non-traditional locales, Indy has a track record of success to tout. It could ultimately be a safer choice than other locales. Again, it would be tough to beat Miami, but what if Miami has the 2017 game?
Despite some of Indy's geographical drawbacks, the voice of the people ranks as a major selling point.
I didn't meet any of the 1 percent who had something negative to say about Indy's first Super Bowl.
Maybe, come 2014, the NFL will look at Indy's bid and decide 99 percent of the people can't be wrong.