By RICK CALLAHAN, Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The city of Indianapolis, flush from the success of this year's Super Bowl, will bid to bring the big game back again in 2018.
Mayor Greg Ballard — saying "let's do it again" — announced plans for a bid on Wednesday. He said the NFL won't pick the host city for the game until 2014, but that he's encouraged by the response from league officials and others to the activities leading up to February's game at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The event was widely considered a success and mild, sunny weather helped stave off fears that a "northern" Super Bowl would be a bummer because of cold temperatures. Organizers estimate 116,000 visitors came from at least 50 miles away during the 10 days before the game and that 265,000 tickets were sold for the NFL Experience fan event at the Indiana Convention Center.
Organizers said they believe large crowds would have come in colder weather, too.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said he expected competition would be stiff for the city to be awarded a second Super Bowl, but that he is completely behind the new bid. Irsay said the Super Bowl village activities and other events related to the game showed that the city best known as the home of the Indianapolis 500 auto race — and ridiculed for years as "Naptown" by some — could pull off a big event in a unique way.
"Of course the weather cooperated," he said. "We probably had some expenditure on suntan lotion, maybe not sand for the snowplows."
Super Bowl host committee president Allison Melangton said a review found that 99 percent of media mentions about Indianapolis surrounding the Super Bowl were positive.
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