Mayor Greg Ballard is expected to announce the city's plans for a Super Bowl bid next week. And Mark D. Miles, whose sports experience includes the 1987 Pan Am Games and 15 years as head of the ATP Tour, a men's professional tennis circuit, has been talking to the mayor's team . . .
Miles said exact roles were still being worked out, but a member of Ballard's transition team said Miles will lead the effort.
"He's an outstanding choice," Melissa Proffitt Reese said. "His connections here are so deep and varied that he's a natural choice."
Ballard spokesman Marcus Barlow said the mayor likely would have an announcement regarding the Super Bowl bid next week, possibly Tuesday . . .
Backers secured $25 million in private pledges. But there is no guarantee how much of that money will be available for a new bid. And the NFL has changed the bid requirements, which now say the host city must accommodate a fan and community event for 50,000 people.
Recall that the NFL Commissioner specifically promised the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis that it would be given the opportunity to host a Super Bowl at the soonest possible date if taxpayers would only pony up $700 million to build a new palace in which the Indianapolis Colts could play. Our state and city foolishly fell for the promise and learned last year that the NFL owners care more about their own personal greed than keeping promises. The City's bid lost out to Dallas because it is building a new stadium which holds more people than Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.
Beyond the NFL's greed, this is simply a misplaced priority of the worst order. With the City of Indianapolis' neighborhoods afire from rising taxes and out of control crime, it is simply unimaginable that a group of elitist would have the audacity to expect us to ignore these more pressing problems so they can plan a party years off into the future to which 99.9% of Indianapolis residents will not be invited. Super Bowl plans calls for creating a Green Zone around Indianapolis' downtown area ala Baghdad for the exclusive party and shutting everyone else out.
If these business people have $25 million in their pockets which they are just itching to spend, why not donate that money to the City to combat the growing problem of abandoned homes? Indianapolis has close to 10,000 abandoned homes scattered throughout its neighborhoods, creating blight and pockets of high crime activity. That's more than the City of Chicago, a city several times our size. Our residents are having to resort to self-help to deal with this growing problem because the City of Indianapolis doesn't have the leadership or the money to deal with this problem. Many people are simply giving up and moving out to the suburbs. Let's get our priorities straight, Mayor Ballard. We voted you into office for change. Cowtowing to Indianapolis' elite establishment is no way to endear youself to the people who worked hard to elect you.