by Jay F. Hein and Allison Melangton
Indianapolis may be America’s biggest small town. It is a city with a million people, three professional sports teams, one of the few Conrad Hilton hotels in the world, and countless cultural amenities. Still, it is a place where you can walk to all these things.
Beyond having pedestrian access to all its big-city amenities, Indianapolis has a culture of public spiritedness that just doesn’t exist in many other places, that is, outside of small towns. When its leaders stand up with an idea two things are typically the case: first, that idea is for the public good rather than personal gain; and second, other leaders say, “How can we help?”
These elements of Indiana’s leadership culture go a long way in explaining the Indianapolis sports strategy that was conceived in the 1970s and is now manifest in the Super Bowl being played at Lucas Oil Stadium. This grand facility stands just yards from the recently expanded convention center that encompasses where the old RCA Dome stood. Much like The Field of Dreams, that dome was built before a pro football team even had Indianapolis on its radar screen.
by Mark D. Miles and James Taylor
Increasingly organizing (host) committees, nonprofit organizations, and local government in cities that are awarded the game use the event as a catalyst to address pressing social issues.
Indianapolis experienced the same flight to the suburbs that plagued many Midwestern cities in the 1960s-70s. In response, civic leaders conceived a big idea: to rebuild the downtown by making it the amateur sports capital of the world. Never mind that it lacked any notable amateur sports assets at the time and infrastructure was wholly inadequate to support such a scheme. These things could be acquired and built. What was essential is leadership, and the city had that in abundance.
by Bill Taft
In summer 2007, thousands of Indianapolis residents turned out for an unprecedented opportunity: to create quality-of-life plans for their own neighborhoods.
by Wesley Cate
Since winning the Super Bowl bid in 2008, Indianapolis has mobilized in ways far beyond what anyone expected. So what is the city’s secret sauce? Volunteers.
Sports & Character
by Hunter Smith
What do you do when you achieve something that you have strived for all of your life? For most National Football League (NFL) athletes, winning the Super Bowl is the single most important goal they could achieve. But five years out from our world championship, alongside 10 of my teammates and coaches I provide glimpses of what really lies beyond the championship ring.
by Tony Dungy
It’s easy to get swept along, borne by the current with no idea where you’re headed. Sometimes you find yourself miles out from shore with the lighthouse no longer visible. I’ve seen it over and over through the years, and I’ve even felt the pull myself.
From Leading the Nation in Foreclosures to Leading - Edge Solutions: Building a Home for Prosperity on the Near Eastside
by Wesley Cate
At the most basic level, housing impacts the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities. Access to quality, affordable housing options is critical to the success of family life as well as life outcomes for children.
by Wesley Cate
The Avondale Meadows neighborhood was constructed in 1948 as America’s soldiers returned from war. The neighborhood featured a summer-stock theater—the Avondale Playhouse—that attracted Hollywood personalities to the playbill.
by John Clark and Jay Hein
The Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood on the eastside of Indianapolis began in the 19th century as two separate communities, both of which were economically dependent on local rail lines and the industries linked to them.
by Jeffrey L. Sparks
When you hear the term “film festival” your mind’s eye likely travels to exotic places like the French Riviera (Cannes) or the mountains of Park City, Utah (Robert Redford’s Sundance). Would it surprise you that a film festival in Indianapolis, Indiana presents one of the largest cash prizes in the world?
by John Waters and Zoe Sandvig Erler
Scholars, politicians, and journalists find their own sport in debating whether games lead to economic development. Yet that point was proven over a century ago when Indianapolis launched its first sports strategy: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
They are often called field generals because football quarterbacks are responsible for leading their teammates on the gridiron in tandem with executing their own roles. But there is little doubt that quarterbacks are also the leading role models because of their high visibility.
by Micheal Flaherty and Nathan Whitaker
In Danny Wuerffel, the star quarterback had an example of both religious and athletic devotion.
by Jay F. Hein
ESPN ranks the movie Hoosiers as the #1 sports movie of all time. What is it about an old-school coach, a basket hoop on the side of a barn, and underdogs that resonates so deeply in the American soul? The answer to that question can be found in the lives of two iconic Hoosiers: Tony Hinkle and John Wooden.
by Blaine Bishop
As a safety in the NFL, I was known as one of the hardest hitters in the game. Unfortunately, I needed to learn to be tough to survive my upbringing in one of the roughest parts of Indianapolis at 30th and Keystone.