Good news for Indianapolis.
Yeah, I’m feeling a little bit of civic pride since Indy will host the Super Bowl. It’ll be good for this kinda dorky city to get national exposure, and it should bring a lot of money to the city.
That’s all great.
But what I find most intriguing about the Super Bowl in Indy is that the city is using this opportunity to try to redevelop the Near East side of the city, which is in dire need of help.
The city’s plan is to build upon efforts already going on in a neighborhood where 36 percent of the households live below the federal poverty level and that was devastated in June 2006 by the killings of seven family members in a home robbery on Hamilton Avenue.
“The plan is to make us a neighborhood of choice rather than a neighborhood of last resort,” said Tracy Heaton, president of the Near Eastside Community Organization.
It (the legacy project) calls for turning around an area twice the size of Fall Creek Place, a redevelopment project in a 17-square-block area near Downtown that transformed a crime-ridden neighborhood into one that attracted $75 million in private investment.
I work on the Near East side of Indy. As a neighborhood, it’s a total fucking nightmare, full of abandoned houses, drugs, and violence. If the project helps to rebuild the area while allowing low-income families to stay in their homes, the Super Bowl might be 100 times better for the city than I thought it would be.
Here’s hoping that the Super Bowl in Indy will mean a lot more than a football game and street parties in the middle of winter.