Downtown Indy will be rocking 66 days from now, but not all Super Bowl visitors will be able to
walk back to their hotel rooms at the end of the night.
In fact, most of the 18,000 hotel rooms needed to host the event will be outside of Downtown --
extending into suburbia and even cities as far away as Lafayette and Bloomington.
On Wednesday, the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee named 17 local communities as
"super celebration sites" -- a distinction making them an official host to outside
visitors, even if they're miles away from the heart of the party.
"You know, not everyone gets to stay right Downtown where all the cool action is,"
said Karen Radcliff, who helped lead the committee to name the super sites. "It took a
regional effort . . . we had to reach out to hotels.
"If the fans are staying far away, we wanted to extend some of that Super Bowl experience
to where they will be."
There are only 7,100 rooms in Downtown Indy, but the region has 33,000, according to
Indianapolis Downtown Inc.
But the super sites are not only defined as those with hotels, but also those with entertainment
venues and local restaurants. That's why the list ranges from party spots like Broad Ripple and
Mass Ave to major concentrations of hotels in Carmel and the airport area in Plainfield.
As a designated super site, local businesses will be encouraged to create as much of a Super
Bowl atmosphere as they can.
"We know most visitors will be here for at least four days," said Radcliff, "but
if they are coming in as a vendor or a host, they could be staying up to 10 days or longer.
There's a good chance they may spend some of their time where they are staying."
That means they might take in a show at The Palladium in Carmel. Or catch a basketball game on
campus in West Lafayette or Bloomington.
At the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, executive director Christian Maslowski will of course make
sure local restaurants and attractions are included in the visitor's guides handed out to folks
as they arrive at one of the 1,100 rooms along I-65 and U.S. 31 in Johnson County -- but in a
way that celebrates the event taking place in Indianapolis.
"We see this as our opportunity to support the host community and provide a unified
front," he said. "We are Greenwood, but we are part of the greater metropolitan area
and we want our visitors to still feel like they are part of that excitement."
Call Star reporter Dan McFeely at (317) 444-6253.