City, Irsay Key Factors in Indianapolis Super Bowl, NFL Owners Say
ATLANTA, Ga. – As far as New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft saw it, it was Indianapolis' time.
And Jim Irsay's time, too.
The city of Indianapolis on Tuesday afternoon was awarded the 2012 Super Bowl in a vote at the 2008 Spring NFL Owners Meetings, a happening that owners said afterward can be attributed to four factors:
1) Irsay, the Colts' Chief Executive Officer.
2) Lucas Oil Stadium.
3) The city of Indianapolis.
4) The public-private partnership that helped build Lucas Oil Stadium, the state-of-the-art, retractable-roof facility in downtown Indianapolis.
Indianapolis was one of three cities submitting bids Tuesday. The others were Houston and Phoenix.
"There were three good bids, but I think there was a feeling that the public-private partnership has been there and Jimmy has been a great partner," Kraft said after the announcement, which came at the 2008 Spring NFL Owners Meetings held at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.
"I think it was a chance to reward that community for working so well together with the team. We need that type of public-private partnership.
"We're happy he got it. He's a good partner."
Said Pittsburgh Steelers Owner Dan Rooney, "I think it's great. They all did a good job presentation-wise. But (Indy) is good. They've never had it and that had a lot to do with it. But Jimmy did a good job."
Denver Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen said Irsay's persistence in trying to get a Super Bowl for Indianapolis was critical.
"I think Jimmy has been trying a long time to get the game and finally his number came up," Bowlen said.
A year ago, owners meeting in Nashville, Tenn., voted 17-15 to award Super Bowl XLV to a group representing North Texas. That the process went in Dallas' favor likely was due mostly to the capacity of the Dallas' Cowboys' new stadium compared to that of Lucas Oil Stadium, Irsay said.
"I'm happy for them," Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said. "They've worked hard. Indianapolis is a great town. I'm really proud for everybody that has worked so hard for all of our fans (in Indy), the commitment they made for the new stadium. It's very deserved.
"The people are fabulous. I'd say that's their No. 1 asset, and the facility is going to be great."