Thursday, December 15, 2011

"Know Before You Go": Street Closings For Super Bowl Announced

The Super Bowl Host Committee announced its "Know Before You Go" campaign to inform Indianapolis commuters of its street closing plans during the Super Bowl festivities. Believe it or not, some street closings will begin as early as January 19, 2012. "Many of the current metered spaces will be closed to help push traffic through, or as extra space to push snow, if need be," Mel Raines told the Star. Tickets for parking on Super Bowl Sunday -- which range from $40 to $60 -- are now for sale at

Some of the street closings begin a full 17 days before the February 5 Super Bowl date. Under Mayor Greg Ballard's 50-year lease agreement with ParkIndy, special event organizers are required to reimburse the private consortium that operates the parking meters for the revenues its loses out on because of street closures. Earlier, we learned that state of Indiana plans to turn two of its state parking garages and one surface lot over to the NFL for its use and allowing it to keep the parking revenues generated from renting out those spaces. Will the NFL reimburse ParkIndy for the lost revenues? Or will the Super Bowl Host Committee be required to reimburse it for the lost parking revenues? Even worse, will Indianapolis taxpayers wind up footing the bill? If someone has the answer to this question, please share it.

The Star's story also mentions that about 80 to 100 police officers will be diverted to work duty in the downtown area daily during this time period to direct direct. You can bet there will be lots of accumulated overtime pay. What's that price tag? Let's get a full disclosure of what it costs to put on these events so we can get a fair evaluation of the benefit of hosting a Super Bowl. By my account, the Super Bowl preparation costs have cost city taxpayers about $25 to $30 million, excluding what the host committee is raising and spending. That's aside from the tens of millions of dollars in taxes the state and city is foregoing because of a special tax break law the legislature passed to entice the NFL to let the city host the event.

UPDATE: I'm picking up grumblings from downtown business owners that even parking meters well outside the perimeter near Lucas Oil Stadium and the Super Bowl village will be closed to parking during some of these days. I've even heard that parking may be shut down along Massachusetts Avenue, many blocks away from the event area. Some party planners are also less than pleased that event organizers are barring them from shuttling guests door-to-door to some events in the downtown area, forcing guests to walk blocks from a drop off point. There is some concern that locals may avoid the downtown area altogether due to the inconveniences being imposed by the event organizers, which could hurt downtown business owners outside the designated event area.

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