"The original bid planned for up to 7,000 temporary seats. As with most major productions, plans are refined as the event nears,” McCarthy said.
In February 2011, Lucas Oil Stadium officials showed RTV6 exactly where the proposed 4,000 extra seats would be placed.
Stadium Director Mike Fox said NFL officials simply changed their minds in regards to the extra seats, putting Indy on track to host one of the smallest Super Bowls in the league’s history.
In 2011, 103,000 fans attended the Super Bowl in Dallas and in 2010, 74,000 fans attended the game in Miami.
The last time a Super Bowl had just 63,000 fans in attendance was Super Bowl 26 in Minneapolis, officials said.
McCarthy said the temporary seats added to Lucas Oil Stadium should be in place by Saturday and the NFL has the final say on the total number of additions.To put it in perspective, there will be 40% fewer fans attending the game than attended the Super Bowl in Dallas last year. That's a difference of 40,000 people who will be needing hotel rooms. Don't get me wrong. This is still going to be a big event for the city, but in comparison to the number of visitors who come here every year to attend the Indianapolis 500, it's a much smaller event. The Colts have had plenty of sold out games over the past several years that have drawn as many visitors downtown. Clearly, Super Bowl planners are banking on a whole lot of fans coming into town to experience the atmosphere of the big game, who don't have tickets to the event. Given the marketing campaign for the Super Bowl Village in Central Indiana, planners expect to draw most of those additional visitors from the local market.
A local Super Bowl blog shows advanced reservations for parking near Lucas Oil Stadium are up 20% so far compared to the number of reservations placed for last year's Super Bowl game in Dallas. Nearly a quarter of those reservations were purchased by persons from Central Indiana according to the blog, which suggests many visitors to the event will be local. Ten percent of the reservations were made by people living in the Chicago area. The blog reports there are still 12,000 parking spaces available for the event.