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Congratulating The City Of Indianapolis As Host Of Super Bowl Xlvi

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Carson) for 5 minutes.

Rep. André Carson

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the great city of Indianapolis, my hometown, for doing an outstanding job as the host of Super Bowl XLVI.

On Sunday, two teams played an incredible game; but I believe that the events leading up to kickoff, organized by countless community organizations, good corporate citizens, committed public leaders, and thousands of volunteers, were as impressive as any play on the field. Over 1 million visitors enjoyed the free festivities of Super Bowl Village, and a record 265,000 fans visited the NFL experience to test their passing and kicking skills and to meet their favorite players. So I was not surprised when Indianapolis received rave reviews for its accessibility, downtown amenities, civic commitment, and famed Hoosier hospitality.

Yet this success, Mr. Speaker, did not stop with the blocks surrounding Lucas Oil Stadium. With Commissioner Goodell and the NFL's assistance, I am confident that the impact of this Super Bowl will last far longer than the memories of that final Hail Mary pass.

Indianapolis embarked on an unprecedented effort to rebuild one of its hardest-hit areas. Even before the recession hit, Indianapolis' Near Eastside, a patchwork of neighborhoods just outside of downtown, led the Nation in foreclosures, and families were too often rattled by violent crime; but today, thanks to relentless efforts by community residents and with the Super Bowl as its springboard, Indianapolis' Near Eastside has been rejuvenated.

It has been given new life through housing developments like the St. Clair Senior Apartments, Commonwealth Apartments, and Building a Living Legacy housing initiative. These new housing options will help seniors and low-income families stay in the community they love and access the services they rely on, like the John Boner Community Center and People's Health and Dental Center. They will help the homeless find a new start and working men and women to locate near their employers.

On Super Bowl weekend, we also saw the grand opening of the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, which includes the area's only fitness center now offering low membership rates. This center will be home to the Youth Education Town. It is a facility that will provide classes to students of all ages through great national and local non-profits.

While other host cities spend Super Bowl weekend breaking ground on projects, Indianapolis spent ours opening doors for these new facilities. Collectively, the Near Eastside redevelopment effort serves as a model, not only for what can be achieved throughout Indianapolis, but across this great Nation. Just a few years ago, the Near Eastside and all of Indianapolis were suffering the worst of the economic downturn. We had some of the Nation's highest unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates; but today our unemployment rate is near the national average and is getting better. Our critics counted us out many times, but this weekend showed that we are a modern city.

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, Indianapolis showcased why it is America's best-kept secret. It showed that we are a prime destination for conventions and big events and that we have some of the best sports facilities anywhere. It is with great pride that I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Indianapolis, Indiana, and all of those who worked so hard to make this event a huge success.