Pride, Hard Work, and Dedication are the first words that come to mind when I think of the effort and execution in which Indianapolis and the Super Bowl Host Committee put forth last week. Living downtown, in the heart of the Super Bowl, we may have experienced first hand, one of the most well run parties the NFL has witnessed. I knew the city would put on a good show, being that they seamlessly host the Big Ten Basketball Tournament for football and basketball, NCAA tournaments, and many other large events and conventions held throughout the year. However, I had no idea it would be on this level. The city began to prepare for the Super Bowl over four years ago when it was announced by the Super Bowl Host Committee Indy had won the bid, thus the last few days, the city has a bit of hangover from the hype and festivities. Moreover, as I look back on the week that was, is how well the city rallied behind each over to make this event one of the best. Yes, perhaps we were spoiled by some amazing weather, and there were no major incidents to ruin the buzz of the week. It should be noted the way this city and its residents handled the whole week, and it is a testament to what Indianapolis can really do when we put all our energy and resources together.
Numerals, Zipline, and Super Bowl Village
I feel the reality of the event set in for most residents, when these Numerals were put up down on the circle two weeks the Super Bowl.
The Roman Numerals on the South side of the circle at the heart of it all, stood 30-feet high and 82-feet wide, and weighs 96-ton, was for sure one of the biggest attractions.
However, the numerals were not to be outdone by perhaps the hottest Super Bowl attraction, the Zipline, which spanned Capitol street, and there is already talk of having it back for the Indy 500 Race at the end of May. 10,429 people flew down the zipline in Super Bowl Village, and at only 10 dollars a pop, it was a no brainer to hear that some families just came downtown JUST for the zipline. The last weekend of the Super Bowl, people were lining up at 10PM the night before to try and get tickets and a spot in line. The local news even found two girls who were standing in line and sold their tickets for $250.00 each to someone whom could not get a ticket.
Even Jimmy Fallon was recorded on the zip line seen here.
This was the sign at the end of zip line in front of St. John Catholic Church, where Fr. Rick Nagel did a great job of opening his doors to all the downtown visitors.
Another success was the Super Bowl Village, which stretched down Georgia Street. From Capital Street, where the Zipline was set up, all the way down to Bankers Life Field House where the Indiana Pacers play.
Some highlights of the Village, were Ice Carvings from the folks at the Food Network, Food Vendors, Free Live Music on three different stages, where the free Pepsi Stage getting most of the attention. Whom had acts such as Brett Michaels, Darius Rucker, LMFAO along with a list of many many more,
However, the music stages were a chance for the community to really get into the local music scene, and take in many local music acts that included, Acoustic Empire, whom had some Indianapolis royalty show up for their Show.
Mayor Gregg Ballard, stopped by give the local music scene some love.
Super Bowl Village really turned into a week long party.
As you can see, it got a bit crazy down there, but I am so glad I had the chance to experience the whole thing.
Along with Super Bowl Village, inside the Convention Center the NFL Experience was held, and ESPN Studios were set up down on the Pan Am Plaza, where they did live shows, Sport Center, and turned into the mecca for all sports fans.
While it was nice to all the national media highlight the events I mentioned above, I want to get back to why the city really benefited from the Super Bowl. There were so many events that were “off the beaten path” such as Taste of the NFL, where local Chef Gregg Hardisty, whom owns and run the hip new trendy restaurants Recess and Room Four, displayed his talent
Another great event was the “Souper” Bowl Competition. Where 8 of Indy’s top chef’s competed in a a soup competition, where all the proceeds were donated to Second Helpings, whom turn around and used prepared and perishable food, re-prepare it into nutritious meals, and distribute those meals to over 60 social services organizations that feed hungry people. Second Helpings had recovered 40,000 pounds of food from Super Bowl-related events!
Souper Bowl 2012 Chefs:
Greg Hardesty, Recess/Room 4 and Taste of the NFL
Kevin Peters, Columbia Club
Roger Hawkins, Circle City Soups
DeWitt Jackson, Indianapolis Colts
Kathy Jones, Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
Sam Brown, Second Helpings
Luke Caenepeel, Pogue’s Run Grocer
Regina Mehallick, R Bistro
They also reached out to local artists to create hand made bowls that they auctioned off in silent auctions, and below are just a few the bowls that were up for bid.
This Bowl was given to the Top Chef of the competition, and this year Ms. Kathy Jones, head chef at Iozzo’s Garden of Downtown Indy.
Also a few other highlights were a Bob&Tom and a Signed Larry Bird Bowl.
It was such a great event and with great Chefs like Roger Hawkins from Circle City Soups located in the newly rejuvenated downtown City Market, helped give some press and drew some interest for the visitors into The Market. With great vendors such as:
- A Taste of Philly
- Potato Chip Co.
- Circle City Soups
Soups & Salads
- Circle City Sweets
Pastries, Wedding Cakes, Special orders
- Fermenti Artisan
We offer all local, artesian meats, cheeses, sandwiches and more. We are fermenters by trade who make our own sauerkrauts, kefir sodas, kombucha drinks and more!
Josh Henson & Mark Cox
- Market Street Produce
Fruits, Vegetables, Breads & More!
- Natural Born Juicers
100% Natural Fruit & Vegetable Juices and Smoothies
- Papa Roux
- Three Days In Paris
- U-Relish Farms
And if you need to wet your whistle,
- Tomlinson Tap Room, whom has an extensive list of Indiana Craft Beer ready to serve.
Kristin Knapp, Manager
Along with the great list of vendors, it serves as the location of one of the best Winters Farmers Market in the state, every Saturday Morning.
Even the city’s greatest Pastry Chef Cindy Hawkins of Circle City Sweets got a wonderful phone call to make Carson Daly’s girlfriend’s birthday cake.
It was a great week had by all in the city, but if you take one thing from my ramblings, it is that I hope you appreciate and remember all the local delivery men and woman, the bus boys and girls, the servers, the chefs, the street sweepers, and the 13,000 volunteers whom really held this city together throughout the week of madness, and put in many sleepless nights, hours logged, and worked their tails off to make this city shine on a national stage. Thus, if you were someone in the background who did you job, which will probably never go noticed. Lift a glass this evening and here’s a big cheers to you, we could have not done it with out all of you, well done and thank you.
Stars were out in the City
Before I go, this week wasn’t without a few celebrity sightings in town.
Angela and Deb from Indy WISH TV Channel 8 News.
Adam Sandler Hitting up some Subway Downtown
And Guy Fieri hung out with Erin Edds whom owns Hoosier Bloody Mary Maker, said close 18,400 Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary’s were consumed during the week in the Indianapolis area. Yet again another amazing Indiana Business who rocked it out during the week that was.
All and all it was a great week and a heck of a Super Bowl Game itself. Yes, the New York Giants won the game, and big ups to them and the city of New York. However, I would say the real winner last weekend was the City of Indianapolis and all of its local businesses and blue collar men and woman who made this show go off without a hitch. Thanks to all the fans of both the New England Patriots and NY Giants for visiting our city and giving us nothing but praise. I met many from both places and was nothing but impressed with each and every visitor I met. Nice work Indianapolis, and here’s to getting a bid for another Super Bowl in 4 years.