Super Bowl Bits….

As promised, Channel 13 is covering the Super Bowl from every angle–including the sure to be popular NFL Experience.

As promised, Channel 13 is covering the Super Bowl from every angle–including the sure to be popular NFL Experience. 

Our amazing engineering and production staff completed their task of setting up the timelapse camera so you can watch beam by beam the NFL Experience put together at the Convention Center–then watch the fun from the comfort of your PC!  

Check it out here

They’ve also been constructing the WTHR set where some of our newscast will be broadcast during Super Bowl week. 

Setting the stage at NFL Experience



The control room









With all the parties and events scheduled for the coming week…Hoosiers are putting on their “Super Sunday” best.  My friends at Simply Skin Med Spa in Fishers tell me they’ve been busier than usual lately.  Mostly for chemical peels–a process used to improve and smooth the texture of the face  using a chemical solution that causes the dead skin eventually peel off.(Yes it’s as unpleasant as it sounds–but the results are worth it, I’m told!)

At the Bobby Cooper Salon in Broad Ripple, stylists are excitedly preparing to primp about 30-some NFL wives  (even practicing on their day off).  All for the annual  Nfl Wives Association fashion show which will take place at Saks   Fifth Avenue February 3rd.  Open to the public, it’s a charity event where a portion of the proceeds this year goes to Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital at  St Vincent’s.

11 days and counting….

Kris Kirschner

See all Super Bowl stories, maps, events, parking info, road closures and more!

Super Space for Rent…

By all estimates, the Super Bowl is a potential windfall for downtown businesses hoping to cash in on the frenzy of the 100-thousand-plus visitors.

The city itself claims it comes with an economic impact of somewhere  between $125 million and $400 million.

But there is also money to be made by the savvy Hoosier—-willing to give up hearth and  home for a little cash in hand.  In other words, renting out their homes to fans wanting a place to stay while in town for the big game.

I’ve often asked myself—-(and my husband)—-whether we could open our doors to complete strangers during Super Bowl week.   The financial benefits (up to $10-thousand a day if you believe the signs)  seemed tempting.  But could I put a pricetag on my privacy?

It was during one of these discussions my husband mentioned a nephew who would indeed be offering his very attractive (and just two miles from Lucas Oil Stadium his very convenient) home to rent for the Super Bowl.

Greg Cummins is a talented, intelligent young professional (and a really nice guy) who lives in one of the historic districts near dowtown Indy. 

He tells me it was an easy decision to rent his house for the Super Bowl—-having done business in rental properites in the past.  

 And it’s that previous experience that helped him come up with a rental agreement that also gives him peace of mind.

For instance says Greg:  ” There won’t be time to do credit  checks so I am requiring full payment, upfront via a money wire or overnight cashier’s check or money order.”

He also plans to remove anything of value.      (That was actually my biggest deterrent.  The thought of having to remove all my personal effects, including clothing–seemed too daunting a task).

And under his contract, he can make daily onsite visits.

 To start the process, Greg  tells me he did  simple searches on the Internet to see what company or companies got the most hits.  He  decided on

  “It costs only  $49 to post an ad on the site, but that is all they do.  I am still responsible for communicating with the renters, collecting money and come up with a contract which I found online and simply modified. I also decided to list it on Craig’s list.   It works in my favor that the Colts are not in it this year which means more out-of-towners looking to rent.  ”

He  took  photos of his home  and through creative writing, came up with an attractive description.   See what you think:

“My home is architecturally interesting with bamboo floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and many bells and whistles like a garden tub, outdoor grill and heater. ” 

 He says you really need to emphasize the bells and whistles or you’ll “just be another home for rent.”  

 Who am I to argue?

Afterall,  shouldn’t a renter paying $2000/night with a four night minimum  feel they are getting their money’s worth?

According to this  Super opportunist,  “The Super Bowl is  cash cow and if you really put your mind to it, there are lots of ways to ake money from this event.”

So Super Bowl XLVI may indeed deliver on its promise to pay off.

At least for people like Greg:  willing to take a gamble—-banking on a big payout no matter who wins the game.


Kris Kirschner

A Unique NFL Experience…

One of the biggest attractions for Super Bowl XLVI will no doubtedly be the NFL experience.

It’s a fan-friendly, interactive pro football “theme park” that will take up the 500,000 square feet of space inside the Indiana Convention Center.

A pretty impressive set-up from all accounts, and one you can literally see “set up” right before your eyes!

The NFL Experience opens January 27th, but today, the WTHR engineering team is setting up a special camera to watch as crews assemble this popular attraction.

 The time lapse camera will record a frame about every minute  of the build-up of the NFL Experience. Once the build-up is done, a time lapse video of it will be posted on our website for people to view. After the camera has done the time-lapse, it will change over to a live feed from inside NFL for the duration of the event.

Be sure to have listed on your “favorites” so you don’t miss one minute of the action!

For more information on the NFL Experience:


Kris Kirschner


Whatever the Weather Brings…

On this strange, stormy day, many of us in the newsroom pondered the question many probably considered 19 days before Super Bowl XLVI: what will the weather bring, and are we prepared?

On this strange, stormy day, many of us in the newsroom pondered the question many probably considered 19 days before Super Bowl XLVI:  what will the weather bring, and are we prepared?

The Indy Super Bowl committee assures us they are ready for every scenario.  (Let’s hope they won’t be put to the test).

But what about the station bringing you the big game? 

We have some big plans when it comes to our coverage, including nightly specials the week leading up to the Super Bowl; a Super Saturday show; and a special Sunrise show Super Bowl Sunday.  Much of our live coverage out in the elements where the action is (think zipline!), including at the Super Bowl Village, outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and inside the NFL Experience. 

As our anchors and reporters prepare by learning as much as we can about each event surrounding the Super Bowl and how to get you there, our amazing production and engineering teams work to make sure we’re comfortable doing it.

Production manager Randy White–a most organized and thoughtful person–offered this plan:

We have infra red heaters at our Georgia Street location.    We’ll have  foot heaters as well  (they’re actually heating pads for pets–what I consider an ingenious idea!)  We also have the production truck there as a warming station for our crew.

We'll use heating pads like this for anchors to stand on to keep feet warm!

 At our other outdoor location, the Domestic Compound at the Stadium, we will be quite exposed to weather as the platform is not heated or covered. We will have access to the NBC NewsChannel trailer located nearby to take breaks from the cold if necessary. Otherwise, we are out in it!

 Our NFL Experience stage inside the convention center is our indoor fallback location. If we had weather like (Tuesday) morning with lightning and warnings and such, we would take it all inside.

By the way, I should mention, while you see the anchors and reporters (what we very loosely call ‘talent’)  it takes a village to raise a broadcast.  There will be about 15 members of the crew (production and engineering) behind the cameras each day making sure it all works like clockwork rain or shine…or snow.

So here’s to whatever the weather brings…and hopefully coverage you won’t soon forget.

Kris Kirschner

Super Bowl Accessible…

With the Super Bowl now less than three weeks away (since we’re the Super Bowl station it’s our obligation to remind you as often as humanly possible) those of us covering the event are anxiously, and yes, excitedly wondering what our assignments will be.

With the Super Bowl now less than three weeks  away (since we’re the Super Bowl station it’s our obligation to remind you as often as humanly possible) those of us covering the event are anxiously, and yes, excitedly wondering what our assignments will be.

Yes we work in the media.  And yes that  affords us access to newsmaking events, people, and places that often make friends and family envious.

However, major events–covered by worldwide media– are sometimes a different animal.

When I covered the Olympics for Channel 13 (both in Salt Lake city and Torino, Italy) the question most often asked of me:  “Did you get to see the events?”  Or rather , “It must have been great to see the events in person!”. 

I saw no events in Salt Lake city–except on the television in my modest hotel room.  I did catch an ice skating event in Torino–but only because  I bought tickets.  There are so many media outlets covering the events; and not everyone can get equal access.  Besides, we’re too busy working to really “enjoy” what we’re covering ( the way a spectator would enjoy it).

I assumed the Super Bowl would be a similar case.  Afterall, there are more than 5000 credentials approved by the NFL–90 of those go to WTHR staff.

Based on newsroom intel, however, I”m finding our access will indeed be pretty impressive.

Reporter Rich Van Wyk, (who covered Super Bowl XLV in Dallas as well as the Colts appearance in Miami) ,  offered that access to the stadium–will be limited even to media covering the event.  The NFL controls the access during this time.  Reporters will receive 2 credentials–1 for the week leading up to the game; 1 for game day itself (although not necessarily for the stadium).   (see below)

Rich Van Wyk's credential for Super Bowl XLV


Most credentials will offer access to the NFL Experience, training facilities, players, and media center.

As for the Super Bowl parties–those –he says–are “hit or miss”.  Rich says if it’s an NFL-sanctioned party then the credentials will get you in.  Private parties–may or may not allow access; and it would likely be limited at best.

That being said, as the NBC “Super Bowl station”–we will have access to coverage no other station will.

The “Jimmy Fallon Show”, which is broadcasting four shows from the Hilbert Circle Theater, is granting WTHR “behind the scenes” access .  We’ll see rehearsals for the show, and speak with Jimmy and his guests. 

Bob Kostas —the Today Show–and Brian Williams–are all bringing their shows to Indy.  As part of the NBC family, we expect to get some time with them.

I know plenty more opportunities will surface.

We’ll find out soon enough what our individual assignments will be.   

As a station, I”m happy to know,  even for the biggest sporting event in this city’s history, we’ll have the kind of access that will not only ensure we enjoy every moment–but more importantly, you do too.


Kris Kirschner

Tapping into Super Bowl XLVI

As an official sponsor of Super Bowl XLVI, Bud Light* is tapping into the Indianapolis market in bigger numbers than ever before.

As an official sponsor of Super Bowl XLVI,  Bud Light* is tapping into the Indianapolis market in bigger numbers than ever before.

And that’s good news for the Indianapolis distributor of Anheuser-Busch products, family-owned Zink Distributing –whose workers have been busy stocking bars and shelves preparing for an event Jim Zink describes as “Final Four times 5”.

Banners are already adorning local restaurants and bars for Bud Light* and two dozen more establishments will be decked out this week.

But perhaps the most unique marketing for the Super Bowl beer will be happening at the Hampton Inn downtown.  In the next couple of weeks it will transform into the “Bud Light hotel”.  Every sign will acknowledge  the name change–even the soaps and shampoos will carry the Bud Light* logo.

It will be a place not only for Super Bowl guests…but parties ahead of the big game.

Zink Distributing believes the  exposure and volume of business they’ll get from the Super Bowl will last far beyond February 5th.

Also…stores are already carrying  a limited edition aluminum Bud Light* bottle—-in cobalt blue—-with the Super Bowl logo, host city and date printed proudly on its label.  (I suggest you buy two—-and save one.)

Limited Edition Bud Light aluminum bottle

Then January 23rd, Indianapolis will be among the first to sample a brand new brand of Bud Light*.  Bud Light* Platinum–a sweet malt liquor that Zink says is marketed to the “high end drinker”.

The official kick off  “Platinum” is Super Bowl Sunday.


Kris Kirschner

25 Days and Counting…

For the past year, WTHR (the Super Bowl station) has been actively counting down the days to Super Bowl XLVI. But it’s really been in the last week we’ve ramped up our final preps (and the city too) for this Indy first.

For the past year, WTHR – the Super Bowl station – has been actively counting down the days to Super Bowl XLVI.  But it’s really been in the last week we’ve ramped up our final preps (and the city too) for this Indy first.

Now 25 days out, there is a “buzz” in  the newsroom ( and for that matter around town)  the result of  meetings, set construction, schedule planning,  more construction—-all in an effort to put on our Super Bowl Sunday best.

Setting the Stage

Just this past week, I attended a staff meeting where I learned exactly how our coverage will play out.  Some if it, I thought you might find interesting as well.  For example,  these noteworthy tidbits:

5000 NFL credentials  will be handed out (90 of those to WTHR staff)

130 Public and Private events are scheduled

59 NBC cameras in use

800  Traffic Control Operators to keep you on the right path

WTHR monitors that will be placed at the NFL Experience

The Super Bowl is far more than the game–or even the commercials.  It’s a week’s (or more) worth of entertainment that attracts worldwide media, A-list celebrities, and fans across the globe.

Indianapolis–and Channel 13–are at the center of it all.

So stay tuned for our special coverage.  The game may be 25 days away, but the efforts to bring it here–years in the making. 

Check here for more on our Super Bowl Coverage  – Including parking info, transportation, events listings, schedules and news stories.

Kris Kirschner