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Indianapolis beats out Houston, Arizona to host first Super Bowl

Indianapolis has been awarded Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played on Feb. 5, 2012, it was annouced at the annual NFL Spring Meeting being held in Atlanta.

This will be the first Super Bowl held in Indianapolis, and the first one held in a cold-weather city since Detroit held Super Bowl XL. Of the 42 Super Bowls, the three played indoors in cold-weather cities were in 1982 and 2006 in Detroit and 1992 in Minneapolis. Indianapolis also plays indoors.

Other candidates for hosting the 2012 Super Bowl were Arizona (Glendale) and Houston. Arizona's University of Phoenix Stadium was the host of last year's Super Bowl XLII, while Houston's last Super Bowl (XXXVIII) was held after the 2003 season.

Last year, Arizona, Indianapolis and North Texas competed for the 2011 Super Bowl, with North Texas winning those rights. Tampa will host Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, while South Florida (Miami) will host the Super Bowl in 2010.

"We have a public/private-funded stadium that is, I believe, the best in the world," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. "I put $100 million into it and our city $650 million. We have generated an extra $25 million in donations for the league for operating costs. Our square footage went from 900 (thousand) in the old place to 1.8 million.

"It is environmentally friendly. I think it sends an important message to teams and cities that if you work together and get new stadiums done and build on long-term relationships that benefit the NFL, that the Super Bowl is a realistic reward for all of that. This isn't so much about the Colts. The people of Indianapolis and of Indiana deserve it."

Part of Indianapolis' bid included a pledge by the city to build a practice facility downtown that will be left in place for local residents to use.

Indianapolis also hosts the annual NFL Scouting Combine.

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