ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota today launched an official bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, calling it an opportunity to showcase the state and a new, state of the art Minnesota Vikings stadium
If successful, it would be Minnesota’s first Super Bowl since 1992.
“It’s our time. It’s our moment. We are ready,” said U.S. Bancorp Chairman, President and CEO Richard Davis. “It’s like in Hollywood when they say: ‘I’m ready for my close up.’ We’re ready for our close up, and we’re ready to put this show on the road.”
Some of Minnesota’s top business leaders, Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota Vikings officials are heading to the New York for the Super Bowl this weekend to start making a pitch.
Winning the high profile sporting event could have a nearly $500 million impact on the state economy, Dayton said.
“Hosting the Super Bowl would bring enormous economic benefits to many Minnesota businesses,” he said.
Among the obstacles to a cold weather Super Bowl: the cold weather.
State officials said they are taking the challenge head on, describing the new Vikings stadium with glass-like roof and state of the art temperature controls at 70 degrees as the most advanced facility in the NFL.
“You will feel like you are outside, but it will be totally climate-controlled,” Minnesota Sports Facilities Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen, who is overseeing new stadium construction, said. “You won’t have to worry about cold. You won’t have to worry about rain. You won’t have to worry about storms,” she said.
Among the NFL requirements for Super Bowl cities: thousands of hotel rooms. Transportation infrastructure, including light rail, and enough space at the Convention Center and elsewhere for dozens of NFL related Super Bowl week events.
Minnesota Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley described the Super Bowl as more than just a game.
“It used to be just a game. Then it became a weekend. Now it’s a week-long celebration that has events every single day,” Bagley said.
If the bid is not successful, the state will try again. Minnesota’s Super Bowl bid is good for three years: 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The Vikings say the NFL has a new policy of awarding Super Bowls to cities that build new stadiums. By that standard, Minnesota is in the mix against Indy and New Orleans.