As a Naptown native, it was quite fun to see how the city transformed for the event – sad that it takes a sporting event for the city to suddenly infuse the local arts scene and local businesses with cash so we can put cool murals and public sculptures in place and promote local restaurants and tourist spots. That should happen regardless of major tourist events.
But boy, does the city look really nice, and watching locals go from being cynical about the city (the “Indianoplace” slam gets used by residents far more than visitors) to supporting local artists and businesses and being proud of them when they see the outcome of the investment is pretty damned cathartic.
And the event was kind of nice “in your face” to the suburbs – we have a lot of suburban snobs who say crap like “I never go downtown” which is code for “I don’t want to rub shoulders with people of color” – who suddenly “discovered” the center of the city for the first time. I had some friends telling me about the downtown foodie scene. Dudes, I live downtown; of course I’ve eaten there. I’m not your fraking sherpa, Robert Peary.
I also love that the number one compliment from visitors who compared our Super Bowl to other cities where they attended the event was this: “So wonderful that everything was close together and within easy walking distance; parties, hotels, restaurants and the event were walkable or within close shuttle distance; the convenience made the difference.”
That would be another slam right in the face of suburban commuters – if you lived here, you’d be home now. You could work downtown and walk home instead of driving 45 minutes to get there, dummies. That’s 90 minutes a day you could spend with your kids, or relaxing at home.