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Indy mayor Ballard celebrates global reach of Super Bowl

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  February 3, 2012 11:06 AM

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INDIANAPOLIS --- Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard, whose fine city has been receiving plaudits from all precincts for the Hoosier Hospitality it has shown in hosting Super Bowl XLVI, visited the NFL Media Center today at the JW Marriott Hotel, the second-most dominant structure in the city's skyline next to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Mayor Ballard, whose city won the right to host the Super Bowl in 2008, said it was his hope Indianapolis could get into the NFL's rotation of Super Bowl sites, but that it wasn't likely to happen for another decade, given the considerable financial commitment it required from the local business community.

Ballard said he was reminded of the Super Bowl's outreach as a global event when in 2009 he was traveling to Indianapolis' sister city in Cologne, Germany. There, he said, he happened upon a Thai couple traveling through the country.

Ballard, whose wife is of Filipino descent, struck up a conversation with the Asian couple. When he introduced himself as the Mayor of Indianapolis, Ballard was dumbstruck when they replied, "Can you believe that [Bill] Belichick went for it on fourth and 2?''

"I mean, this was a Thai couple ... in Cologne, Germany,'' Ballard said, incredulously. "It's all you needed to know about the international outreach of our American game.''

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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