2018 Super Bowl bids are heating up.
The three competing cities are Indianapolis, Minneapolis and New Orleans. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay plans to go to Atlanta for the city's bid presentation to the NFL owners on May 20, per Kevin Bowen of the Colts' official website:
"The boxed Super Bowl bids were glowing with glamour and inside was Indianapolis' master plan.
"A total of 900 pages make up the Circle City's 2018 Super Bowl bid and an abbreviated version of that will be finding the hands of NFL owners on Wednesday.
"Indianapolis finds itself as one of three finalists, along with Minneapolis and New Orleans, for Super Bowl LII.
"On May 20th, the Indianapolis Super Bowl contingent will head down to Atlanta to present their bid at the NFL owners meetings.
"Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward said on Wednesday that owner Jim Irsay is planning on being down in Atlanta for Indianapolis' presentation.
"'Every owner of the franchises whose city is bidding has a chance to talk for five minutes, so (Irsay) plans on talking to the ownership,' Ward said.
"'He's very excited about the bid. He has become increasingly more active in terms of lobbying and just keeping tabs on how things are going.'
"An advantage Indianapolis will carry with them to Atlanta is the success that the city had in hosting Super Bowl XLVI."
On the other hand, organizers in Minneapolis say they will use the frigid winter in their city to their advantage, notes Doug Belden of The St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"Organizers have submitted their final bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, touting the 'iconic' new stadium, extensive transportation infrastructure, large and engaged business community and even weather in the Twin Cities.
"Weather? In February?
"You'll be proud to know that we're going to celebrate winter,' said Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bank and co-chair of the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee.
"Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab and another committee co-chair, talked about tying the Super Bowl to the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
"He said there has been talk in St. Paul -- though no commitment yet -- about putting up another Ice Palace to coincide with having the Super Bowl in town, as was done in 1992.
"'I'm pretty confident if we get the Super Bowl we will figure out how to get that done, too,' Baker said.
"Wednesday was the deadline to submit final proposals to the NFL. Minnesota is angling to host the game in the new $976 million stadium opening in 2016 in downtown Minneapolis on the former site of the Metrodome."
Belden stresses Davis, Baker and Co. have "secret weapons" in place to solidify their bid and impress the NFL owners. The bid will only be made public after May 20, regardless of the outcome.
As for New Orleans, should it get to host Super Bowl LII, the game will kick off the city's 300th anniversary celebration, per The Associated Press (via USA TODAY).
New Orleans has already hosted 10 Super Bowls (tied with Miami for the most in Super Bowl history), as opposed to just one each by Indianapolis and Minneapolis, the same update goes on to say.
Here are oher pertinent details from The Associated Press report:
"The host committee did not disclose cost estimates but did note that major sporting events traditionally cost less to stage in New Orleans due to many factors including a full-time staff ready to manage the event, lower transportation costs, less weather contingency planning and the existing exemption of sales tax on tickets and merchandise at the Superdome.
"The 2013 host committee reported a $13.5 million budget."