IRL's Tony George to leads Indy's bid for Super Bowl
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Tony George was named as one of four co-chairs of the organization that is working to bring Super Bowl XLV to Indianapolis in 2011.
George, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson were announced as co-chairs of Indianapolis 2011, Inc. during a press conference Jan. 31 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
"I am looking forward to participating in the effort to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis in 2011," George said. "We are up against stiff competition, but I will do whatever I can to help get the job done."
If Super Bowl XLV was awarded to Indianapolis, the game would be played in Lucas Oil Stadium, the state-of-the-art future home of the Indianapolis Colts currently under construction in downtown Indianapolis and scheduled to open in fall 2008.
An independent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed the Super Bowl could draw 98,000 visitors and have $262 million in economic impact on the area, Indianapolis city officials said. The 10 most-watched television programs in American history are Super Bowls, and last year's game was watched by 141 million viewers.
"This effort, first and foremost, is about the jobs that events like the Super Bowl bring to our city and state," Peterson said. "An event of this magnitude will inject even more energy into our hospitality industry, and so many other businesses in Indianapolis and central Indiana that would benefit from hosting such a major event."
Said Daniels: "Indianapolis has proven over and over again that no city is more professional in hosting a major sports event. We've got a great track record to take to the team owners."
Fred Glass, president of the Capital Improvement Board and a partner in the Indianapolis law firm Baker & Daniels, is president of Indianapolis 2011, Inc. Other members of the organization are Cathy Langham, president of Langham Transportation Services and chair of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce; John Lechleiter, president and chief operating officer of Eli Lilly and Company; and Dr. Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools.
George, 47, has led IMS since January 1990. He also serves as president of Hulman & Company, established by family patriarch Herman Hulman in 1850. Hulman & Company, the parent company to IMS, produces Clabber Girl Baking powder and includes substantial interests in real estate, energy, banking and investments.
An aggressive program of expansion and investment has marked George's tenure as IMS CEO. Extensive reconstruction and redesign of numerous track components has preserved the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's reputation as the world's premier racing facility.
Each year, the track plays host to the Indianapolis 500, the world's largest single-day spectator sporting event. In 1994, George brought NASCAR to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, the world's second-largest single-day sporting event. In 2000, George welcomed Formula One to IMS for the inaugural United States Grand Prix. Now held annually, the world-class event rounds off George's vision of making IMS the home of the world's "triple crown" of auto races.
George also founded the Indy Racing League in 1994 to preserve the traditions and excitement of America's open-wheel oval racing. Centered around the Indianapolis 500, the IRL IndyCar Series will contest 17 races in 2007. The IRL Indy Pro Series, the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, will begin its sixth season of competition in 2007. IMS PR