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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!

  • patriot paul

    Once again, I think you’ve nailed it. Ballard outbested his critics who earlier accused him of slow footedness and who they claim started too late in forming his administration, biting off more projects than a newcomer could possibly work with no political clout, and packaged his people to conquer a superbowl…all in his first 5 months in office! Can any other mayor in the U.S. lay claim to these feats in 5 months?

  • SOS

    Bidding for a Super Bowl is about the dumbest thing any city can do. The NFL will basically hijack our city for two weeks, not pay taxes and very few will benefit other than select insiders and a few hotels.

    The City will spend so much more than people imagine on police, DPW, etc, not to mention the many man-hours wasted by other city employees catering to a bunch of rich people who want to throw a big party every year. Yeah, what a great function of government to have – see who can throw the best party. If someone in city government had the title of party planner, taxpayers would go ballistic. But that, in essence, is what many city employees become for these type of events. It is ridiculous. Of course, we are already 750 million in the hole for the stadium, not to mention the subsidized hotels that make up the rest of the downtown pyramid scheme.

  • flipper

    Way to go mayor. On a side note to Jen Wagner. When you go up against Abdul on channel 6. Remember… In a battle of wits with him. You are unarmed…..


  • http://indianapolsnewgoverment2008.blogspot.com/ David Myers

    I agree with 90% of what Greg Ballard has done since he took office. What many people do not understand is that he was always for the bid for the super bowl. He stated that he was against using taxpayers money for this. As far as I know, no tax money was used to get this bid.

    What does concern me is that this super bowl will not be paying some taxes as we do here in Marion county: IC 6-8-12-1– Sec. 3. All property owned by an eligible entity, revenues of an eligible entity, and expenditures and transactions of an eligible entity:(1) in connection with an eligible event; and (2) resulting from holding an eligible event in Indiana or making preparatory advance visits to Indiana in connection with an eligible event;
    are exempt from taxation in Indiana for all purposes.
    Marion County admissions tax not applicable
    Sec. 4. The excise tax under IC 6-9-13 does not apply to an eligible event.
    So as we dig down deep to pay our property taxes some get out of taxes.

  • Pascal

    Note to the Mayor, by selecting only 8th graders from government schools you make a serious mistake. Performance is coming from private schools, from home schooling, from religious schools. The wrist of some lowly staffer needs to be slapped for the insult of ignoring all but the failing and long term failures connected with the government schools. Without the private schools IPS performance would be much lower than reported as would graduation rates and, of course, the idea that every kid can learn to read, write, and calculate well would have to be abandoned for lack of evidence.

  • schoolboardgreg

    Mayor Ballard made lemonade.

  • GG Liddy

    Super Bowl an economic boom??
    Hardly.The city of Houston, after all was said and done netted just over $900,000 after they hosted the Super Bowl and that figure was seen as generous.
    No big deal. According to the ancient Mayan Doomsday Calender the world will end in 2012 anyway so who cares.

  • Indy Server

    As a server at a downtown restaurant I will tell you this is great. I know during the Final 4 servers downtown make $1200 plus on just Fri-Sun. Now, imagine what service industry people will make in the course of 2 weeks during the worlds biggest sporting event. Anyone who claims this is not beneficial to the people of Indianapolis is not in touch w/ the actual working class individuals. Ask the single mother of 3 that waits tables downtown if she is glad we got the Super Bowl. You bet, she will make at least 2 months worth of money in 2 weeks, and that is a fact.

  • Taxpayer 834512

    The somewhat symbolic and nebulous benefits to a community from professional sports and the arts are enjoyed by many. But, when you have real problems with crime, child welfare, graduation rates, education funding, forclosures, debt, energy inflation, taxation, jail housing, and street repair (among others)-when do we ever say, “No”? The question is, “Is there enough benefit relative to the cost?”, keeping in mind that no level, section, subcommittee, group, district, or board in any government seems to perceive that everybody else wants more money also – all at once. A tax abatement or TIFF is just revenue that other taxpayers get to provide – because we couldn’t say, “No”. If times get tougher, it’s hard to make food and police cars out of football stadiums and arts festivals.

  • RD

    A larger number of people attend racing events at IMS than will attend the Super Bowl, so what’s all the hype about? Indianapolis has plenty of experience with large events.

  • Shortstop


    Perceived stupidity, conflicts of interest, bias, racism, and crookedness.


    -Bob Grand/CIB, Scott Newman/DNA lab & public safety, Olgin Williams/Mayor of Haugheville?, Sherron Franklin to fix abandon housing problem without real estate or legal experience, Greg Wilson to piss the blacks and women off, a littel China Town, $1.5 million to the arts instead of chuckholes, IPS students only and hmmmm….National searches for ‘the best person for the job; just to piss everybody else off that’s not already pissed off.


    A community of leaders who ‘did not’ and ‘do not’ want Mayor Ballard as their Mayor and who keep him busy with glitzy social activities and endeavors while they, fastly, ruin the administration and all public relations that exists for the ‘Ballard Administration’.



    Wake Up Mayor Ballard, take control of your administration.

    P.S. I hope we are not paying for this bad advice out of our budget, that’s too much to swallow.

  • Mike

    Some folks will never be happy. How can landing the Super Bowl be bad ? Ballard has done more in 5 months than the last guy the whole time he was in office.

  • Really

    Once again, nice try Abbie but you missed a crucial if not the most important point. The city (including Ballard, Dems and Repubs) as well as the State (specifically, Your Man Mitch), are breathing as huge sigh of relief for getting the Superbowel. Why? First, the RCA is not paid off somewhere in the tune of $70million and alot. Additionally, the new Lucas Field and new convention center is almost entirely funded by…..sales tax, hotel tax and rental car tax somewhere in the tune of $1 billion dollars which is roughly the cost of the field and convention center. With this mighty windfall of Superbowel tax money that is coming to town, pray for warm hot February weather. But here is the best part. As we all know, the OPERATING costs of the new Lucas Field were not part of the $1 billion dollars. In fact, there are no operating budget that is funded, yet (at least to my very limited knowledge). AHHHH next stop, more taxes to operate Lucas Field. Scheduled stop, July 08. Now we have justification (a Superbowel) to build the Lucas because Tech High School is getting a new football field to assist them in the 35% graduation rate.

  • Jon G

    GG Liddy, you said that Houston only made $900,000. Well isn’t $900,000 well, $900,000? What’s wrong with that? Lets face it, cities aren’t just crime rates and school systems and tax problems. It takes a lot to be a quality city and the Super Bowl is part of being a well rounded city. After all, when you vacation you don’t visit a city because it has the best schools in the country do you? And I’m not down playing those aspects mentioned above but we must include entertainment as an important factor in or lives.

  • SOS

    Jon G “After all, when you vacation you don’t visit a city because it has the best schools in the country do you?”

    No, but you do move to a place to establish your business, career and life if the city has the best schools in the country.

    And Indy Server, there is this little thing called the substitution effect. Check how other parts of the city are faring during these so-called big events and see how working people outside of downtown are impacted negatively by this subsitution effect.

  • Jon G

    Or, you send your children to private schools because you decide to live in a part of the city that is not a cookie cutter edition in a cornfield where you can experience social, economical and cultural diversity. Anyway, the Super Bowl is one week. I don’t think the substitution effect will affect to many people in one week. The bulk of the money spent will come outsiders, the people in Carmel and Greenwood and Plainfield will spend as always.

  • Joe

    panem et circenses.