Success for the Long Haul
IUPUI Helps Extend Super Bowl's Reach
For two weeks, in the heart of an unseasonably warm Hoosier winter, media stars the world around descended on Indianapolis and praised the local efforts behind Super Bowl XLVI. Hundreds of thousands of visitors swarmed downtown Indy, enjoying the best the city has to offer; millions more watched on TV and on line as the social and entertainment events unfurled.
And a few even watched the game on NBC-TV — a record 111.3 million, making the game the most-watched program in American TV history.
Members of the Super Bowl Host Committee were thrilled with the hustle and bustle in the Super Bowl Village and beyond; they were ecstatic with the TV ratings and all the praise. But the committee had higher aspirations: they didn’t just want the city to shine in the media spotlight. They wanted Indy to turn Super Bowl momentum into a long-term benefit for the community. To do that required detailed planning, community support and a boatload of creativity. The outcomes?
- The city and the NFL built the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, a dazzling new facility on Indy’s near eastside. The center, home of the Fitness Zone, is dedicated to health and wellness, but also serves as a hub of community activity based at Arsenal Technical High School.
- The NFL and the committee staged the Super Cure to expand the assets in the world’s first — and to date only — repository of healthy breast tissue, to bolster research efforts in the battle against breast cancer.
- The committee commissioned a sculpture of Indiana basketball legend John Wooden to grace the new Georgia Street Plaza, a three-block tourist attraction that connects Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the east with the Indiana Convention Center on the west. The sculpture was part of the committee’s efforts to expand the city’s public art profile, along with the “46 for XLVI” murals project.
And IUPUI is part of each of those amenities and events. Students from the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management operate the Fitness Zone. The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center on the IUPUI campus hosts the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Tissue Bank. Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, the artist behind the Wooden sculpture, is a graduate of the IU School of Dentistry at IUPUI. And many of the artists who contributed to the 46 for XLVI project are connected to the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI.
The New York Giants may have taken home the championship trophy, but Indy’s residents may enjoy the ultimate prize from this year’s game: a brighter, richer future.