INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday, February 5 stands to be one of the most significant days in Indianapolis history.
Long the site for a renowned event like the Indianapolis 500 and also a host venue for numerous events like the Pam Am Games, Final Fours and the NBA Finals, the city will become the 14th site where a Super Bowl is held.
Under the direction of Allison Melangton, the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee has worked for months in preparation for Super Bowl XLVI. The local committee has a staff of 30-40 members. The staff members have led 800 people who comprised the 60 committees to execute Super Bowl XLVI. The host committee has performed more than 400 speaking engagements in preparation for the Super Bowl.
The local organizing group has 8,000 active volunteers, with an additional 5,000 at its disposal. By the time Super Bowl XLVI kickoffs off on Sunday, more than 150,000 hours of service will be performed by volunteers. They will assist more than 5,000 credentialed members of the media, and approximately 150,000 visitors are expected to visit the city.
The organizing committee is critical to the success of Super Bowl XLVI. Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay has attended numerous Super Bowls in other cities, and he always has taken note of the efforts needed to hold the nation's most prominent sporting event. Irsay is grateful deeply for the outstanding work of the civic leaders, as well as for the generosity of a dedicated legion of volunteers.
"I could not be more excited. It's literally taken a whole generation to get this building (Lucas Oil Stadium) built, to get in it, win an AFC Championship here and we have the Super Bowl right upon us," said Irsay last week to approximately 4,000 volunteers. "I've always said, and you guys know because you're here dedicating your most valuable resource – your time, is 'Ask not what the Super Bowl can do for you, but what can you do for the Super Bowl.' That is what it's about. It's about Indianapolis. It's about Indiana and the great pride we take in presenting our city and our state.
"There are so many people before us who worked so hard to make this city and this state very special. This (the Super Bowl) is something that is a tribute to all the people who passed the torch in Indianapolis to make it such a great place to live, raise our families.
"All the effort put in (by the volunteers)…is incredible. The most important thing about this event is we went and got the vote and got the Super Bowl, but you (volunteers) are going to make the difference in our community representing it and showing everyone what it's about.
What we've been about here in Indianapolis and with the Colts is one person at a time, one act of kindness at a time, one smile at a time, that's how to win people over with our sincerity. It's not just something we're putting on. It's really in our hearts, what it means to us to have the pride to represent our community.
"When we look back when time passes, it's so historic. This is special. The focus is on making this event and pulling it off in a great way. I've heard comments that it's unprecedented the sort of support we have in our town. That doesn't surprise me. That's how we've done it in Indiana. We take so much pride in our community.
"Thank you so much for dedicating your time to make this work. I could not be more excited, and I wanted to thank everyone for all efforts and time dedication given to this event. It's going to be tremendous."