Now that Super Bowl is over, Indianapolis has gradually come down from the rush and excitement of last week. Indianapolis managed to host a successful event, much to the surprise from out-of-town skeptics who thought that Indiana’s cold climate would put a damper of things (unseasonal temperatures with highs of 54.7°F degrees, or 12.6°C, was a sharp contrast to February 2010 when major winter blizzards brought 9 inches of snow to parts of Indiana).
The Super Bowl was successful in many ways. The NFL experience set a record attendance with over 265,000 visitors and approximately 1.1 million people visiting the Super Bowl Village over the course of 10 days. And don’t forget the number of celebrities that descended upon Indy. The zip line in Super Bowl Village was a huge hit (first debuting at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver; the Indianapolis Super Bowl host committee approached Ziptreck to help set this up for the Indy Super Bowl Village). People were so thrilled with the attraction, that people are actually paying $10 to have a piece of the wire as a memento.
Despite all of the high praises for hosting a successful Super Bowl, it is a bit disappointing that Indy spent so much time trying to impress visitors and not enough time for self-improvement. In a city without a subway system, Indy should have promoted environmental consciousness by encouraging more public transportation usage. With the lack of parking downtown (and employers telling their employees to not park in the company lot reserved for Super Bowl) the outrageous parking fees ranging from $40 to $400, and the major traffic and congestion downtown, Indy could have promoted new bus routes or simply increased ridership by offering some free days. With the unusually warm weather, cycling could have also been promoted, especially now that there are expanded cycling routes throughout the city and bike lockers are starting to become a common sight downtown.
There’s no question that the Super Bowl XLVI is an amazing success story. It was important to the people of Indianapolis to show the country (and maybe to an extent, the world) that Indy isn’t a backward, non-progressive city. However, these missed opportunities are a set-back for Indianapolis. Maybe Indy should just hope for zip lines to sprout up all over town.