News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 31, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Super Bowl festivities mostly for super rich

Liz Ciancone
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I hate being in a minority, but I guess I am. I am considerably less than thrilled over having the Super Bowl altogether too close to my back yard.

When the organizers are through fooling around with downtown Indianapolis, I won’t be able to find my way to the Circle. I’m not sure I’d recognize it if I stumbled across it. And the shops! It wouldn’t do for game-day guests to see an empty Nordstrom’s, so it is being revamped as a pit stop for the well-do-do to buy sustenance and a commemorative T-shirt. I hope they hired union labor, but our legislature would rather they had not.

Maybe I’m sore because there is no way I, or my loved ones, can afford to be there on Sunday. As I understand it, the price of seats, even in the nose-bleed section, has soared far above the $800 printed on the tickets. The $1,000 seats haven’t been available at that price since the ticket brokers snapped them up. I understand the best seats are being sold online for $20,000. It’s not worth mortgaging the house to see a football game.

We average Hoosiers are urged to lay in a supply of high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium goodies and a few six packs of brew. While the fat cats see the game in person, we can see it on TV along with all those especially-produced new commercials costing thousands of dollars for a 30-second run. Wow!

I understand that any of us natives who might offend the sensitivities of the high rollers were to be moved from downtown. It wasn’t clear where the homeless and the ladies of easy virtue were to be relocated. I do hope that the city will keep those heat lamps installed as a stopping point in the walk to the stadium — just in case the weather gets nasty. When the homeless are allowed to return to their doorways, maybe the heat lamps will help them to stay warm, too.

Maybe the higher class of ladies can wait tables at one of the private parties. One, I hear, is a “Leather and Lace” party sponsored by Playboy magazine with admission set at $1,000. I’ll bet it won’t be an open bar.

The irony, if you like that sort of thing, is that the current crop of politicians swears that President Obama is inciting “class warfare” when he asks that the super rich might want to help our floundering economy by paying a bit more than 15 percent income tax.

I don’t mind those spending really big money any way they like, but it would be educational if a tour bus could take them to other parts of town where they would be crowded in a Walmart or Dollar General where real Indiana citizens live and shop.

Liz Ciancone is a retired

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