One of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet has descended on one of the smallest U.S. cities to ever host such a grandiose event. Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" and, with a moniker like that, it only makes sense that the 12th largest city in the U.S. would get in on the action.
Super Bowl Sunday is a very American tradition that's caught the attention of many sports fans around the world. But until now, they have probably only known about this town of just over 800,000 people thanks to the Indianapolis 500 motor race. Now, Indy truly shifts into high gear!
Hosting a Super Bowl is a mammoth task and Indianapolis has shown, in the days leading up to the big game, that it's up for the challenge.
First, it's worth noting that there are many people here that won't get the chance to get anywhere near Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the New England Patriots and the New York Giants do battle for the Vince Lombardi Trophy in person on Sunday. Either they can't find a connection to get a ticket or they've simply been priced out of the game. It seems to matter not for many.
The Super Bowl is an event, and with that designation comes all of the ancillary activities. On the family-friendly front, downtown Indianapolis has turned into an American football-lovers' paradise.
The NFL Experience, an interactive maze that's taken over the convention center, is on pace to break attendance records.
The other night, with a chill in the air, I thought for a moment that I had been transported back in time and back across the U.S.- Canadian border to relive the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Thousands of people were on the streets soaking up the "super" atmosphere. Taking a page from their brethren to the north, the idea to put a Zip Line in downtown hit has been a high-altitude hit.
Once darkness falls, the party people keep this place electric. While it might not have the glitz or the glamor of New York or L.A., celebrities from those cities and many others are spicing up the usually staid Indianapolis scene. Thank the Super Bowl for awakening Indiana's state capital and shaking it out of its usual wintertime routine.
Oh yeah, speaking of the weather, it's one thing that organizers have no control over. Snow, and lots of it, could have blanketed this Midwestern city. After all, it walloped the southern metroplex of Dallas, Texas last year when Cowboys Stadium hosted the Super Bowl. It wasn't pretty and it certainly wasn't fun for anyone.
Indianapolis has benefited from a warmer than normal winter season and it's helped put another good face on what's shaping up to being a spectacular week. Let's hope that the Giants and the Patriots can provide the cherry on what's becoming a delicious cake that the fine folks of Indy have been cooking up with a "super" game come Sunday!