Several days ago I saw a note in the Indianapolis Star about WFYI’s “Naptown To Super City,” an hour-long look at how the vision of a small group of city leaders, capital from the Lilly Endowment, and a little luck helped transform Indianapolis from a dying place with no identity and no future to a place that has the ability to host the Super Bowl and the confidence to pull it off. I caught most of it last night when it aired; I learned, I laughed, and I cried a little, too.
Having lived through the transformation – I was a year old when Indianapolis hosted its first NCAA Final Four and I remember peering down through bus windows into a giant hole in the southwest quadrant of downtown – I am deeply invested in the idea that my hometown is a work in progress. While other mid-size American cities stall or decline, Indianapolis continues to find creative ways to grow and improve. I stayed in Indianapolis in part so that I could help build it into a first tier place to live even if it will never be a first tier media market. If you love Indianapolis half as much as I do, or if you’re skeptical about positive ripple effect of constructing convention centers, arenas, and stadiums, please take an hour and watch this.
And if watching the Hoosier Dome implosion all over again makes you feel nostalgic, I know where you can buy a piece of history.