The city of Indianapolis, the NFL and the Super Bowl Committee have been planning and preparing for Super Bowl XLVI for the past few years. The time for the events to unfold has arrived.
Many will ask if all the work and transformations in downtown will take the focus off of "the game." As a football fan who loves the tradition of the game, I say, "Yes, it does."
As Indianapolis worked to get the Super Bowl, many were concerned about the possible weather conditions. According to local news reports, the NFL had concerns about inclement weather, since many events surrounding the game would be held outdoors. As we know, the weather can be unpredictable. All involved are hoping for better luck with the weather than Dallas had last year.
Of the past 45 Super Bowls, Indianapolis has never hosted the game. However, it does have experience with big-time events, as the city does host "The Greatest Spectacle in Spectator Sports," The Indianapolis 500, which, in its hay day, drew nearly 500,000 people to the Circle City each year.
However, when comparing the 500 to the Super Bowl, the 500 is a weekend event with heavy focus on the race. The Super Bowl, on the other hand, has grown into a huge event lasting upwards of 10 days full of festivities concluding with a football game. This long stretch of "fun and games" leads you to wonder what is more important, the events or the game?
Driving through downtown and seeing buildings being draped with bigger-than-life banners, concert stages going up and even a zip-line platform (which happens to be the longest temporary zip-line ever constructed), it is hard to believe that this is just about football.
In addition, listed on the Indy Super Bowl Web site is a list of events for the 10 days of festivities, which covers events spanning 14 counties in central Indiana.
There are parties, concerts and interactive functions. Concerts alone will be held on two stages outdoors in the Super Bowl Village, at the State Fairgrounds and at many of the local watering holes in the area.
On top of that, there are the parties, which are not "call some buddies over" parties either. We are talking parties hosted by Playboy, Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, VH1, CMT, Pepsi; and the list can go on and on.
There are some free events, but some are high priced or invite-only functions. Most of the events that cost the high dollars are charity-type events, while other events include the NFL Experience and NFL Play 60.
It will be very interesting the next couple of weeks around Indianapolis leading up to the real reason all this is taking place – Super Bowl XLVI between the New England Patriots verses the New York Football Giants.
The events may be exciting and the millions of dollars that will pour into the city will be useful and provide help to many charities. But, let's play some football, and, for what it's worth, my prediction is little brother wins in big brother's house: Giants and Eli Manning win 31-24.