How did this happen? How did a city so dead in the mid 1960s that pigeons were hunted with shotguns in the middle of downtown morph into a metropolis vibrant enough to attract the biggest media event in the world, the Super Bowl? Simple. Yet extraordinary. Naptown to Super City, a special documentary collaboration between the Indianapolis Star and WFYI, puts viewers in the front row of history as it happened, showing how Indianapolis leaders gambled on an unprecedented strategy -- civic development through sports -- and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. With stunning footage and new interviews with Richard Lugar, William Hudnut, Jim Morris, George McGinnis, Sandy Knapp, Reggie Miller, Ted Boehm and many other key players, the hour-long documentary shows the seat-of-their-pants beginnings of the Indiana Pacers and how their success built a game-changing stadium. It shows the national and then international coming-out parties of massive amateur sports festivals, and how these helped lure the NCAA. It illuminates the unlikely provenance of the Hoosier Dome and the controversial move of the team that would put Indy in national headlines Sunday after Sunday. Ultimately it shows how the sports strategy -- with its attendant risks, back-room deals, dissent and no small amount of serendipity -- transcended sports and built a whole new city. "It almost seems impossible," as Knapp puts it. "There were so many times where if it had just gone left instead of right, the outcomes would have changed Indianapolis forever. Just as the alternative has changed Indianapolis forever."
Naptown to Super City is made possible through the generous support of Marsh Supermarkets. Special thanks to Jon Sweeney, Cathy Knapp, Dawn Mitchell, Danese Kenon and the photography and digital staff at The Indianapolis Star.