By Alfred Branch, Jr.
As part of the city’s bid to land the 2011 Super Bowl, Indianapolis is considering a temporary ban on ticket scalping within Marion County, which encompasses the city.
Bidding on the big game is fierce business among cities, especially among cold climate locations, such as Indianapolis. The 2011 Super Bowl is the first one available, and Indianapolis is bidding against Dallas and Glendale, AZ for the right to host the game. Glendale is already the site of the 2008 Super Bowl, and by 2011 Dallas expects to have completed its new, $1 billion stadium for the Cowboys that will seat 100,000.
As part of its requirements for hosting a Super Bowl, the NFL does not allow scalping at or near the game. Scalping is legal in Indiana, with the exception of the NCAA basketball tournament, for which tickets cannot be resold for more than $10 above face value in Indianapolis.
The move would affect ticket brokers in that region, but it would be more of a slight annoyance as opposed to a real inconvenience. Brokers would have to conduct sales outside of the county and mail tickets instead of handing them out within the city.
Officials discussed the matter earlier this week, but the full City-County Council in Marion County still has to vote on it soon. The measure will likely pass if the city is serious about trying to land the game.
Even with the temporary ban, Indianapolis will still have its work cut out for it because Super Bowls played in cold weather locations are rare. New York has bid for the game, but has yet to land one, for example. Over the last 30 years, the NFL has played the game in domes in cold climates only three times, Detroit in 1982 and 2006 and Minneapolis in 1992. The number increases to five if you count the two times the game was played in a dome in Atlanta in 1994 and 2000.
“We certainly hope we’re fortunate enough to have the Super Bowl come to Indianapolis,” Renny Harrison, owner of Circle City Tickets, told local Channel 8 WISH TV.