Super Bowl

A farewell to Indy

February 6th, 2012 at 10:27 pm by under Sports, Super Bowl

The Giants and Patriots have returned home, and so too will we. During our time in Indianapolis, we met with a wide range of  interesting people, from fans on the street, to celebrities on the red carpet, to the players themselves. But all good things must come to an end.

After five days covering the lead-up to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, things are starting to return to normal here. During the day,  22News witnessed hundreds of workers taking down signs, scaffolding, and posters that once covered downtown Indianapolis. Streets that just 24 hours previously had been impassible to cars and crowded with thousands of football fans were largely empty, save for the workers and some people who decided not to fly out Monday morning. To get a look at some of the work that goes into taking it all down, check out our new photo gallery.

St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis, which just a day before had huge crowds of people outside trying to catch a glimpse of dining celebrities, was still busy Monday night, but the sidewalks were clear, and it was actually possible to get a table.

As the city moves on, it does so with the pride of knowing that this event brought worldwide attention and praise for the ease of access and friendliness of the environment here. Businesses have cashed-in due to the fact that more than 600,000 people came into the city at one point or another to participate in the offered events. We were happy to be among those people, who were able to share with you the experience of being at such an exciting event.


Breaking it down

February 6th, 2012 at 3:08 pm by under Super Bowl

What a difference a day makes! Less than 24 hours after kickoff in Super Bowl XLVI, downtown Indianapolis is a completely different city.

To be sure, it is no ghost town downtown. With the thousands of workers combined with several hundred tourists still milling about, there is plenty of activity here. Yet the differences are huge. I’m posting this from Monument Circle, which is home to the iconic Super Bowl numerals. Just a day ago, there were huge crowds of people here, snapping pictures and hanging out at this landmark in the heart of the city. Today, you’ll see the occasional dozen or so people stopping to take some pictures before those enormous numbers come down (as pictured, a smaller set of numerals that were kept close to the stadium have already been loaded onto a truck to be hauled away.)

Speaking of taking things down, the work of taking it all down is really what has consumed the Super Bowl Village, several blocks south of here. Georgia Street has been transformed into a pedestrian mall for the event, and while cars are still not being allowed to pass down the street, it’s not for pedestrians’ sake; it’s because they need room for construction crews to take down the signs, scaffolding, beer tents, and awnings that filled the roadway.

For those who did not get out of town Monday morning, there are some advantages: in addition to being able to enjoy what Indianapolis has to offer without having to fight off massive crowds, everything is a lot cheaper! Parking lots have returned to their normal prices, taxi cabs are running at their going rate, and as you might imagine, Super Bowl merchandise is retailing for half price.


The perfect site for a Super Bowl

February 6th, 2012 at 11:16 am by under Sports, Super Bowl

Throughout the past week, commentator after television commentator has remarked about how Indianapolis has been a perfect host city for the biggest event in American sports. Having been in the city for the event myself, I can tell you that this is also something I have heard over and over again by a whole range of people; from celebrities on the red carpet to fans on the street. What is it that has made Indianapolis,a first-time host city, such a great place to have the Super Bowl?

The weather, of course, may have something to do with people’s feelings. With the exception of some rain on Saturday, the weather has been nothing but unseasonably warm, sunny, and beautiful. No harsh Midwestern winter here! Contrast that with last year’s Super Bowl in Dallas where it snowed in the normally much warmer city.

To give more credit to the city itself, though, Indianapolis is a very walkable city. The stadium itself is right downtown, and venues for most Super Bowl events have also been right within the downtown area, with few exceptions (I had to travel several miles away to a hotel near the airport for a Patriots’ Cheerleaders event.) This convenience of location is not universal for Super Bowls. Ryan Walsh remembers going to Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona. While the stadium was in the suburbs, most events for that game were several miles away in Phoenix.

The other thing that has made the experience so positive for so many is the nature of the people here. In these parts, they call it “Hoosier hospitality;” the people of this city have really welcomed travelers with open arms. Hundreds of scarf-wearing volunteers are posted everywhere tourists may be, from the airport to hotels to downtown street corners; ready to answer questions and to wish you a “super day.” Even Patriots fans have felt the love in a city obsessed with the rival Colts.

There is such a pride people who live here have in their city. They are proud that Indianapolis has gotten to be in the national spotlight, and they are also proud that people are recognizing what they have known all along. Sean Rocke grew up Enfield, but has since moved to Indianapolis. “This is the country’s best-kept secret right here, Indianapolis.” Rocke said. “You can afford to live here, raise some kids out here. Very pleased to be here.”


No revenge for the Pats

February 5th, 2012 at 11:13 pm by under Sports, Super Bowl

Another Super Bowl, another heartbreaking loss for the Patriots. The Pats and Giants met in Indy for a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, and the second time around turned out not to be better than the first time.

Inside Lucas Oil Stadium, you can plainly see the huge difference in emotions. Tens of thousands of giddy Giants fans remained in the stadium amid showers of confetti as the G-Men were awarded their second Lombardi Trophy. Patriots fans made a hasty retreat to the exits, quietly and disappointed; a feeling that is surely felt back home to the millions of New Englanders watching the game on television.

Despite the Pats’ disappointment, it was a game to remember; the first points scored came off a safety due to an intentional grounding call against Tom Brady, and while Brady otherwise performed extremely well, so too did Eli Manning and the Giants.

There was one thing for Western Massachusetts football fans to cheer about; among the game’s standouts: UMass-Amherst alum Victor Cruz, who danced his now-famous salsa after scoring the game’s first touchdown.

 


Where the media watches the Super Bowl

February 5th, 2012 at 6:03 pm by under Sports, Super Bowl

Watching a football game on television, you clearly notice that the commentators broadcast from a press box located high up in the stadium; a room that offers panoramic views of all the action on the field. If you look closely at the sidelines, you can also see TV cameras and photographers, capturing the action of the game.

Most members of the media, however, do not have the great views provided by on-field access and high panoramic perches. There simply isn’t enough room. Most of us have to watch the game just like you do: on television.

Here at Super Bowl XLVI, 22News is one of hundreds of news organizations with reporters inside the many media workrooms at Lucas Oil Stadium. The workrooms feature long tables filled with power strips to plug in the electronic devices you need to do your work. There are also several large screen TV’s for watching the big game.

While you don’t get the live view and some of the excitement of the action on the field, there is at at least one up-side: food and drinks are free!

 


Excitement building before the big game

February 5th, 2012 at 1:12 pm by under Sports, Super Bowl

While it is Super Bowl Sunday, it was a quiet morning in Indianapolis. After a night of fun and partying, many people stayed out of the city during the earlier hours. With about five hours to go before kickoff, however, fans are now filing into the city in large numbers. Traffic is finally picking up, tailgaters are setting up, and the sidewalks are full of people mulling around in Giants and Patriots gear.

On that note, perhaps the most noticeable thing about downtown Indianapolis Sunday is that the fan atmosphere has changed. In the days leading up to the big game, the majority of football jerseys that you could see on the street were actually Colts jerseys. Huge numbers of Hoosiers have made the trip to the city to enjoy the free concerts and attractions that have been offered over the last week. An estimated 650,000 visitors came into downtown Indianapolis over the last few days; nearly the population of the city itself.

On the way downtown, 22News ran into a group of Patriots season ticket holders that were lucky enough to win Super Bowl tickets. One of them said that he had been to the last Giants-Patriots Super Bowl; the great upset Super Bowl XLII, where in which the Patriots were defeated. Pats fans, of course, are hoping for revenge. 22News is headed to an Indianapolis bar that has been a favorite hangout of New England fans. We’ll show you how they’re getting ready for the big game here on WWLP.com,


It’s a Super Day

February 5th, 2012 at 8:20 am by under Sports, Super Bowl

The week leading up to today has been all about team news conferences, free concerts, theme-park-like attractions on the street, and all-night VIP parties, but today it’s all about the whole reason those things exist to begin with: It’s Super Bowl Sunday!

With the exception of some rain on Saturday, things in Indianapolis have been pretty much perfect for Super Bowl XLVI. From NFL stars on the red carpet to people on the street, I cannot count how many times I have heard positive things about how this city has been for the big game. “It’s awesome,” Dan Gronkowski of the Cleveland Browns told 22News.

Gronkowski’s brother Rob, still recovering from an ankle injury, will be one of the most-watched players in tonight’s game. “He’s a tough guy, so hopefully he gets out there and makes some plays,” Gronkowski said.

Off the field, 22News will see how people are making the most of game day. From tailgating to hanging out at the numerous bars, there’s lots of different ways people are getting ready for the biggest of games.


The New England Patriots and Super Bowl Weather

February 4th, 2012 at 9:14 pm by under News, Super Bowl, Weather

Since the Patriots first made it to the Super Bowl in 1986 they really haven’t had to worry much about what the weather would be like on game day.

In 1986 when they lost against the Chicago Bears they played inside the Superdome in New Orleans.

In 1997 when they lost to the Green Bay Packers they were also playing in the Superdome.

In 2002 when they beat the St. Louis Rams they once again played indoors at the Superdome. 

In 2004 when they were victorious over the Carolina Panthers they also played indoors but this time at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Finally in 2005 they played outdoors at Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida where they went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.  The weather in Jacksonville on that day, the high temperature was 65 degrees with a sustained northeast winds of 10 mph.

In 2008 when they lost against the New York Giants they were once again indoors in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Now in 2012 the weather will once again not be an issue as the Patriots take on the New York Giants inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. But in case you’re wondering what the weather will be like there anyway, it is forecasted to be mostly sunny with highs in the 40s.


A $300 parking spot?

February 4th, 2012 at 2:59 pm by under Sports, Super Bowl

If you’re planning on going to the Super Bowl any time in the future, it’s not just the cost of your ticket you have to take into consideration. You also better be prepared to pay to park.

How much, you ask? How about $300.

That’s what our parking attendant said they anticipate charging for a spot on game day. To be fair, we have been parking in a lot right behind Lucas Oil Stadium, but nevertheless the price of parking has been going up since we arrived in Indianapolis, and it will surely hit its peak Sunday night.

Other lots, a little farther from the stadium  have advertised prices of $195 per space, which you have to reserve in advance online.

Keep in mind, these parking prices are just for your car. Looking to bring a party bus? That could run you up to $780 for game day and $1800 for the whole weekend!

If you’re willing to walk a little more than three miles, you can pay $55 per space.

As mentioned earlier, the prices are already on their way up. We parked in a garage on Thursday for the normal going rate. The next day, we parked in the lot behind the stadium at $20. Saturday, that same spot cost $30, which was $10 less than some neighboring lots.

Suffice it to say that on game day, we are planning on finding a place to park that is far, far away.


A Super plan to make the Super Bowl better

February 4th, 2012 at 11:09 am by under Sports, Super Bowl

Just about everyone has, will or is going to a Super Bowl party.  It’s usually a blast, food, friends, drinks, etc.  It becomes a late night on a Sunday and work productivity is lacking at best on Monday.

For years and years and years, when my parents used to make me go to bed before the Super Bowl ended, I always thought Super Bowl Sunday should be played the day before the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.   Then many people would have the Monday after the Super Bowl off.

Now that the NFL has expanded its season, added bye weeks and plays the Super Bowl in February, why not make the game the day before the President’s Day holiday.  If the NFL ever expands to 18 games or adds an extra bye week, that may happen on its own.

Until then, let’s just move the President’s Day holiday up to follow the Super Bowl.

This year, President’s day will be observed on February 20th, it misses the Super Bowl by two weeks.  George Washington was born on February 22nd.  Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th, his birthday isn’t observed in all states, but it is in New York, Connecticut and others.

Let’s just scrap the difference and make the day after the Super Bowl a federal holiday, President’s Day.  We can even play the Super Bowl in Washington, DC some years. 

It may not be what our founding fathers had in mind, but in the Declaration of Independence it says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I’m still pursuing that happiness and few things would make me happier than having a day off the day after the Super Bowl. 

It is election season, President Obama, Mitt, Newt, Ron take the hint, I’m sure this would sway some undecided voters!

That and focing the NCAA to have a football playoff, but that argument is for another day.