Daniels to work and play Super Bowl weekend


By Timothy Cox


Mitch Daniels

and state job creation officials will tackle Super


weekend by entertaining corporate executives with the potential to

bring more jobs to the state — but the governor has purchased his own

ticket for the game.

Daniels said the Indiana

Economic Development Corporation

will use a suite

at Lucas Oil Stadium for the game in February to entertain site selectors and

corporate officials.

"The IEDC looks forward to using the 2012 Super Bowl

platform to showcase Indiana's low-cost, business-friendly environment with

companies considering investment in the state," said Katelyn Hancock,

senior manager of media relations for the IEDC.

The governor will also host his own corporate party with the

IEDC as well as participate in several ceremonial Super Bowl events —

including an inaugural ride on a zip-line that will send fans careening above

the Super

Bowl Village

on a wire.

"(I'll do) anything that I'm asked to do that can help

support the best possible event," Daniels said.

The priority, though, will be using the event to boost jobs

for the state, something the IEDC has done at past Super Bowls away from home.

The state-sponsored events will be paid for with private funds.

"The IEDC is hoping to host and entertain and inform a

lot of very significant people who might one day, if not today, be in a

position to put some jobs here," Daniels said.

About 65 percent of the roughly 70,000 people who attend the

Super Bowl game are "corporate decision makers," many of them with

businesses not currently located in Indiana, the NFL estimates.

Those key leaders could be choosing where their companies expand, moving their

headquarters or locating new plants.

"Every one of those people is going to learn a lot

about Indiana, and I hope feel that they've been to, not just a fun place, but

a great place to do business," Daniels said.

According to Site Selection magazine, Indiana ranked sixth

among states with the best business climates in 2011. That's just the kind of

information that Daniels hopes to share.

But he'll have competition. There will be more than 100

official and unofficial Super Bowl-related events besides the game, said Dianna

Boyce, spokeswoman for the Indianapolis

Super Bowl Host Committee

. Among them is a star-studded party to be hosted

by Rolling Stone magazine and

rum-maker Bacardi.

Daniels said he hasn't received an invitation to the Rolling Stone event but does have plenty

of plans. He'll be part of a celebration for those working at the Super Bowl,

participate in village activities and help wherever he's asked, Daniels said.

The governor has been thinking about the game as well. He

said he's initially partial to any team that might bring a significant number

of fans to Indianapolis – a team like the Green Bay Packers – but

he plans to remain neutral.

He also decided to pay for his own tickets for the game,

which, he said with a groan, cost "a lot of money."

"It just seemed appropriate," he said.