Put on your best NFL jersey and fire up the confetti machines! Super Bowl XLVI was named Event of the Year. The award was presented at the SportsTravel Awards luncheon, held on Oct. 4 in Detroit. Given out by SportsTravel magazine in the Best Professional Single-Sport Event category, the award celebrates excellence in the field and in sports-event management and production each year. Super Bowl XLVI joins last year’s winner in the same category—the Indy 500.
The awards serve to celebrate sporting events ranging from football to basketball to track and field and the so-called “minor” sports, encompassing pro, collegiate, and amateur events, all. “The SportsTravel Awards are a tremendous honor for Indianapolis and the state of Indiana,” says Allison Melangton, president of Indiana Sports Corporation, in a recent press release. Melangton, who was most recently seen producing London Olympic segments for NBC this past summer, again says that Indy plans to pursue the 2018 Super Bowl.
Not many thought that Indianapolis could host a Super Bowl, let alone with such success. It took five years after the initial bid for Indy leaders to realize this dream, but it could be said that we Hoosiers always knew. Now our faith in the city is rewarded, just like it was eight months ago during and after the big event. (No doubt some are glad that the city has calmed down considerably, returning to some version of normalcy, but incoming media and famous types loved it in the moment.)
It was on Feb. 5 that the New England Patriots and the New York Giants collided at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts’ hallowed ground since 2008. And Indy could not have been more prepared for the event. Creating Super Bowl Village on Georgia Street, setting up a ZipLine for fans, and hosting music events around the city led to Indy being recognized as a premier city for that 10-day stretch and beyond. Also of note, the consummate pros who worked so hard—Melangton, Super Bowl XLVI chairman Mark Miles, and many more—are receiving industry recognition well deserved.
And the attention keeps coming for Indy: To couple with the Super Bowl accolade, the Big Ten Championship football game also won, as Best New Sports Event. That contest itself was held on Dec. 3, 2011. Thus, Indy is charging hard, refusing to go back to relative anonymity among the nation’s most prestigious cities.
All of this is just further proof of what Winnepeg Free Press‘s Gary Lawless said following the Super Bowl: Hoosiers sure know how to “throw a hootenanny!”
Photos by Tony Valainis