Super Bowl XLVI

Many people outside of Indiana may not realize this yet, but this year’s Super Bowl (XLVI or 46) will be taking place in Indianapolis on February 5. Tickets start out at $2,132 for a nose bleed seat and go as high as $7,790 for seats at center field. Is it worth going to the game? I guess that depends on a few factors like who’s playing and if you’ve got deep pockets. The final four teams, two of which could potentially be visiting the 12th largest U.S. city, are:

  • New England Patriots (MA)
  • San Francisco 49ers (CA)
  • Baltimore Ravens (MD)
  • New York Giants (NY)

Of course, one must also take into consideration the entertainment line-up. Kelly Clarkson will be singing the national anthem and the half-time performer will be Madonna (I bet that will be a good show, and if I did have the funds, I would consider going just to see Madonna perform).

But if you can’t afford the big game tickets, there will still be a lot of things to do. Downtown Indianapolis will be the hub of a frenzy of activities for the ten days leading up to Super Bowl including performance areas at Super Bowl Village (I hear that some of the bands lined up to perform around town include Gym Class Heroes, All American Rejects, B.o.B. plus some guests that have not yet been announced. There will be various event areas such as the NFL Experience, and there will even be a zip line for people to ride in downtown Indy.

With gradual downtown road closures beginning to take place to make room for Super Bowl related events, the people of Indianapolis are in a bit of a tizzy trying to figure out how everything could affect their daily schedule. An estimated 150,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Indianapolis during the week leading up to Super Bowl, a number that will undeniably affect downtown traffic. Indianapolis does not have a solid public transportation infrastructure in place — there is no subway system and the busses do not run as frequently as in other cities of a similar (or smaller) size; this city was built for drivers. Parking downtown will be an issue and many companies have opted to reserve their parking spaces to cash in on Super Bowl traffic. One of the two State parking garages, normally reserved for government employees, will be used strictly as paid parking during the Super Bowl week. In some situations, employees who normally park in the company parking garages, have been asked to sort out their own parking situation and park elsewhere. Downtown Indy restaurants will be hopping during this time and restaurant workers in the downtown area will have to fend for their self in terms of finding parking and getting to work on time. IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indiana which is located downtown) will likely cancel many of their classes during the week in anticipation of the downtown traffic congestion. They will also be rent out their 4,000 parking spaces during the Super Bowl.

(To avoid the stress of driving downtown and looking for parking during the work week, I have opted to take part of the week off. But I will venture downtown at least once during the week since I recently found out that I have gotten free tickets to see the Jimmy Fallon show which will be taping in Indianapolis during the week before Super Bowl).

Despite the potential headaches, Indianapolis will benefit from hosting Super Bowl. In anticipation of the event, many of the roads downtown have been repaired and this has also prompted revitalization initiatives in neighbourhoods that were previously ignored. One of my personal hopes is that the smoking ban will be reignited, so to speak (the issue always comes up, but has never been passed by government). Currently, smoking is allowed in public areas including many restaurants. However, with the surge in outside visitors, some restaurants have volunteered to operate as a smoke-free environment during the Super Bowl. Although no one can accurately predict how the week will run, one thing that is for certain, it will definitely be an interesting time in Indianapolis.

The big game takes place on Sunday, February 5 and kickoff time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. E.S.T.