At a press conference this morning by the Indiana Sports Corporation in which they outlined and detailed the city's bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward revealed that Colts owner Jim Irsay will travel to Atlanta himself to pitch the city of Indianapolis to the other NFL owners at their meetings later this month. Per the Indianapolis Star's Stephen Holder, Ward said:
"Jim's planning on being at the meeting... Every owner of the franchises whose city is bidding has a chance to talk for five minutes, so he plans on talking to the ownership. He's very excited about the bid. . . He has become increasingly more active in terms of lobbying and just keeping tabs on how things are going."
We haven't heard much from or about Irsay since his arrest on March 17th for charges of driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. We know that he was getting treatment and that in his absence his daughters, including Carlie Irsay-Gordon, were running the team. Ward wouldn't give details this morning on where Jim Irsay is currently, but his statement seems to suggest that Irsay is doing well and that he is taking on more of his ownership role now. It's also an indication that, perhaps, Irsay is out of treatment and beginning to get involved with his team again. We don't have many details, but it sounds like Irsay is doing well and Pete Ward revealed that the owner will be pitching the city of Indianapolis at the owner's meetings this month in Atlanta.
This is obviously good news firstly for Irsay but secondly for the Colts, as it means that Irsay is doing well and is beginning to get more involved. We still don't know what the punishment from Roger Goodell will be, but at very least Irsay will be in Atlanta this month. He used to be highly respected amongst NFL owners and it will be interesting to see whether that has changed or not. If I had to guess I would think that the owner's respect for him hasn't diminished as many of the people in the media or public, but we just don't know and that's just a guess. Either way, having Irsay at the meeting and out of treatment will be a great thing.
As far as Indy's Super Bowl bid goes, the city will be competing with New Orleans and Minneapolis as the three finalists to host the big game in 2018. The Indiana Sports Corporation mailed their official bid to the NFL owners and today held a press conference to announce the details. I think that they stand a good chance at hosting the game, especially since the last one they hosted was such a resounding success. It's not a done deal yet, but Indy stands a good chance. Having Jim Irsay at the meeting (which is scheduled to take place Tuesday, May 20) should help. And most importantly, it's a great sign that Irsay is doing better and is beginning to return to his role as owner of the Colts.