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Would More Hotels Help Indianapolis Get a Second Super Bowl?

By Vanessa McClure, WXIN-TV, IndianapolisMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 10, 2012--Jim Irsay took to twitter Tuesday to express his desire for the Circle City to host another Super Bowl.

The owner of the Colts and a member of the NFL's Super Bowl Advisory Committee tweeted, "The one deficiency to overcome is downtown hotel has improved but still is shortcoming in bid efforts for 2nd opportunity."

The NFL required 18,000 hotel rooms as part of the Indianapolis bid. The league contracted with 141 hotels for a total of 18,382 rooms. Right now, many downtown hotels are just riding the wave from the first big game.

"We're having our best first quarter this hotel has ever seen," said Phil Ray, General Manager of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association (ICVA) reports Indianapolis hotel occupancy is up about 15 percent compared to this time last year. Hotel revenue is up 64 percent. But some hotel managers worry building more hotels too soon might overwhelm the market.

"We want to make sure all of the existing properties that have been here for a while remain successful and we're starting to just share some of the success from the Super Bowl and the conventions that are coming so we want to do the growth very very carefully," said Ray.

"Adding another hotel just for the sake of one event, the Super Bowl, would not be healthy, would not be something we'd recommend. We need to keep our hotels filled year round and certainly right now we're in a perfect place when it comes to hotel occupancy in the city," said Chris Gahl with the ICVA.

In Irsay's comment about making a second Super Bowl bid, he indicated it wouldn't happen until later in the decade. By that time, Gahl said things could change and point to a need for more hotel growth downtown.

"If history repeats itself in the next decade, eight to 10 years, we certainly will be in a position armed with data showing demand and that could time out with another Super Bowl just depending on how those cards lay out," said Gahl.

The Super Bowl Host Committee is currently working on the "after action plan" which will sum up operations and successes of Super Bowl XLVI. That report is expected to be completed in June.


(c)2012 WXIN-TV (Indianapolis)

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