ATLANTA – Ask just about anyone outside of the Indianapolis 2018 Super Bowl Bid delegation and they will tell you New Orleans is the overwhelming favorite for Super Bowl LII.
Taking a listen to Allison Melangton, 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee President, and the rest of the Indianapolis delegation on Monday morning, and you might as well call them Jimmy Chitwood and Hickory.
The competition will be stiff when Indianapolis, New Orleans and Minneapolis make their final presentations on Tuesday afternoon in front of NFL Owners down in Atlanta for their annual one-day spring meeting.
At stake is Super Bowl LII (52) on February 4, 2018 and Indianapolis is riding the momentum of arguably the most flawless Super Bowl experience of all time back in 2012.
The city's 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee has called upon former Colts great Jeff Saturday as one of their two presenters for tomorrow's 15-minute presentation.
"Jeff has done an incredible job over the years working with the owners and the NFL on a variety of different projects and has a lot of respect from the NFL owners and the staff," Melangton, who will be the other presenter, said on Monday in Atlanta.
Saturday has called Indianapolis home since 1999 and on Tuesday afternoon, he will follow the likes of Tony Dungy and Dr. Eugene White as the closer for Indianapolis' Super Bowl bid.
He has past history working directly with NFL owners as Saturday served on the Executive Committee of the NFL Players Association and was a major reason why labor talks in 2011 eventually got resolved.
"I'm excited to get up in front of the owners and present for our city," the six-time Pro Bowl center said on Monday. "This game has changed my life and I have a lot of respect for the game and for the future of our game, not only Super Bowl LII but the legacy that is left afterwards.
"Hopefully the respect I have for the owners, and vice versa, will go a long way to help them get this thing solidified. I get to travel throughout the nation and deal with media in and out, I've never heard anybody say anything except that was the best Super Bowl experience I ever had."
The three cities will each present for 15 minutes tomorrow in front of the NFL owners in Atlanta.
A vote will follow that afternoon to narrow the bid down to two cities before one final tally decides who will host Super Bowl LII (52) in 2018.*
Check back with Colts.com later today as we take a look at the other cities who Indianapolis is competing with and more comments from Jeff Saturday and the Irsay family.
The people of Indy may be even more excited for this Super Bowl bid than last time! — Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 18, 2014
Over $31 ml. in private donations raised BEFORE THE VOTE HAPPENS. Unprecedented! — Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 18, 2014
2018 Super Bowl Bid Presentation Delegation
-Allison Melangton: President Indiana Sports Corp; Chair, 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Jim Irsay: Owner, Indianapolis Colts; Honorary Co-Chair, 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Carlie Irsay-Gordon: Vice Chair/Owner, Indianapolis Colts; 2018 Bid Delegation
-Kalen Irsay: Vice Chair/Owner, Indianapolis Colts; 2018 Bid Delegation
-Pete Ward: Chief Operation Officer, Indianapolis Colts; Board of Directors, 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Cathy Langham: President, Langham Logistics; Vice Chair, Board of Directors for 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Conrad Piccirillo: Owner, INNOVATIVE; 2018 Super Bowl Bid Video Co-Producer
-Dave Lewis: Vice President of Global Taxes and Assistant Treasurer, Eli Llly and Company; Vice Chair, Board of Directors for 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Derrick Burks: Managing Partner, Ernst and Young; Treasurer, Board of Directors for 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Leonard Hoops: President and CEO, Visit Indy; Board Member for 2018 Super Bowl Bid Delegation
-Michael Browning: Chairman, Browning Investments; 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Mike Fox: Stadium Director, Lucas Oil Stadium; 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Rafael Sanchez: Partner, Bignham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Secretary, 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee Board of Directors
-Ryan Vaughn: Chief of Staff, Office of the Mayor; 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee Bid Delegation
-Scott Dorsey: CEO, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud; 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee Marketing Division Chair
-Susan Baughman: Senior Vice President, Indiana Sports Corp; Bid Preparer, Senior Vice President for 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee
-Terry Linger: Owner, Linger Production Group; Bid Video Co-Producer for 2018 Super Bowl Bid