NFL team owners yesterday voted Indianapolis as one of three markets "that will be invited to make a presentation at the May owners’ meeting" in hopes of hosting Super Bowl LII in '18, according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The other two finalists are New Orleans and Minneapolis. Sources said that Miami was the "first city axed from the contenders," then Dallas "was eliminated, followed by Tampa." The owners will determine which city will host Super Bowl LII at their May 19-21 meetings in Atlanta. Colts Owner Jim Irsay on Monday said that he thought Indianapolis "had hosted one of the best Super Bowls in 2012, and that the city is in a strong position to win back the big game" (IBJ.com, 10/8). In Indianapolis, Jon Murray notes the city's strategy is to "build on the warm memories and careful planning" from '12. But they will "throw in some surprises." Irsay said "it would be really significant" for the NFL to choose a cold-weather city to host another championship just six years after its first one "without any ties to payback for the appreciation of the public/private partnership we had to build the stadium." Irsay plans to "lobby hard, calling in favors from other owners" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/9).
VIKING QUEST: Vikings VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that team co-Owner Mark Wilf yesterday "made a pitch" to host Super Bowl LII. In Minneapolis, Richard Meryhew notes the Vikings have been "working on the Super Bowl bid with Meet Minneapolis and an organizing committee" led by T'Wolves CEO Rob Moor "ever since the stadium financing legislation was approved" in May '12. Bagley said that now with Minneapolis on the short list for '18, the group will organize a host committee in coming weeks and “put together a full-court press and try and deliver this event" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/9).
BAYOU BASH: In New Orleans, Terrance Harris notes Saints Owner Tom Benson once again "played the role of ambassador in convincing the NFL owners to consider the city for what would be a record 11th Super Bowl." Should the city be the "last standing once the 32 owners vote in May, it will be largely because of the influence of Benson" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 10/9).
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Dolphins President & CEO Tom Garfinkel said that the NFL's vote "disappointed" the team. He added, "We’ve had 10 Super Bowls here because it’s an ideal market to host big events. But we’re now facing more intense competition from multiple modernized facilities." In West Palm Beach, Andrew Abramson notes while a February trip to Miami "might be more desirable for fans than a trip to cold-weather Minnesota, the Vikings will have a new indoor stadium built" by '18. The NFL is "shying away from just rewarding warm-weather cities and instead giving Super Bowls to cities that have recently used public money either to build or renovate stadiums" (PALM BEACH POST, 10/9).