INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis wants to host the Super Bowl in 2018 after winning praise for its handling of the NFL's showcase event in 2012.
The city notified the NFL of its intentions Friday ahead of a news conference at which Gov. Mike Pence, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and civic leaders made the decision public at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the 2012 Super Bowl.
Indianapolis won broad praise for that effort, drawing hundreds of thousands of football fans to the city amid concerns about hosting the game and its many festivities in a "cold weather" location. Ballard said Friday the 2012 game is still having benefits for the city.
"We are the gold standard on how Super Bowls are run," Irsay said Friday.
Former Colts player Jeff Saturday echoed that sentiment, saying that friends on the New York Giants and New England Patriots, the teams that played in the 2012 game, raved about their experience in the city.
"The excitement they had in their voices really encouraged me that our city was doing it right," Saturday said.
"It doesn't get better than we did it in Indianapolis" in 2012, he added. "I look forward to 2018 beating the one we did before."
Friday's announcement is the first step in a bid process that is different from the one the city faced in 2012, said Allison Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp president and chairwoman of the 2018 Super Bowl Bid Committee board of directors.
She said the NFL will review the list of cities and identify finalists that will be invited to formally bid in October. The 32 NFL owners will vote on the host city for the 2018 Super Bowl at their meeting in Atlanta next May.
Other bids could come from Denver, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Miami.