So why did Indianapolis get a Super Bowl this year as opposed to last? Good question. Fair question. I asked Mayor Greg Ballard that this afternoon. He gave three reasons.
1. The city tied its legacy project to IPS and the new facility that will go up at Tech High School.
2. The city did not put all its cards on the table right away and held back part of its proposal to the very end.
3. Having 8th graders from not only Indianapolis, but across the region participate in presenting the city’s bid to show wide support for the project.
You may not agree, but it didn’t hurt.
I also asked the Mayor who should deserve the credit? He acknowledged the work of the previous administration in the bid, however he also recognized the work of people like Dick Lugar who really laid the groundwork for what Indianapolis is today. And he also said the real winners are the community, as he labeled this a community bid.
Much to the dismay of his critics, you have to give Ballard credit. Not only for this, but for retaking the police department and putting it back where it belonged, the state taking over the pre-1977 pension problem, and seriously promoting government consolidation that went beyond Indy Works I, II & III. (And need I remind some of you that former Mayor Bart Peterson could have had consolidation had members of his own party not blocked it in the Indiana General Assembly. I can say this because I was there and many of you were not, so save us all the grief and hassle of trying to argue the point.)
I think a Super Bowl will be good for the city and will open a number of doors if it is done right. That will be the biggest challenge for the administration. There is no do-over for this one and 2012 will be here before you know it. The good news is that Indianapolis has handled major events before, this is the granddaddy of them all.
Nice job. Now get to work!