Indy doesn't have much time before it and the Indianapolis Colts' Lucas Oil Field take the big stage for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, but it's tough to draw a bigger audience than the 111 million Americans who watched the big game last year.
The actual audience size may vary depending on the matchup, but there's no question this is a big deal for Indy. The Colts were Super Bowl-caliber when the city was picked to host back in 2008, but had a miserable 2-12 season this year without injured star quarterback Peyton Manning and probably won't be seen again until they draft Stanford stud QB Andrew Luck with the first pick of this year's NFL Draft. This year's Super Bowl is about the most meaningful football Lucas Oil Stadium may see for a while, but the economic impact of the game, hotel stays, parties and other associated events should have a far more lasting effect.
The 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl host committee estimates that the Super Bowl will bring in anywhere from $125 million to $400 million for the city and local businesses immediately. The NFL, meanwhile, estimates that 60% of that Super Bowl crowd will be corporate honchos who may bring their companies back for conventions or their families back for vacations if they like what they see.Even if that doesn't pan out, Indy is feeling pretty fortunate that this event is even going off. When the NFL locked out its players last year, the Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University estimated that the city would be out $200 million if the Super Bowl was canceled and bigwigs from NFL partners such as FedEx (FDX - Get Report), Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) and General Motors (GM - Get Report) made other winter plans.