MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New details have emerged about the deal bringing the Super Bowl to Minneapolis.
Some of the conditions include: hotel accommodations, free police escorts and free advertising. They’re on the long list of requests in a confidential 153-page document obtained by the Star Tribune.
The National Football League made the specifications before it named Minneapolis the host city for the 2018 Super Bowl. Dated November 2013, the document details everything from field preps, to reserving bowling venues for the Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic.
“Anything that involves either public money or the risk of public money must be transparent,” former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson said.
Some requirements are self-contained building up to the big event: like planning the NFL Tailgate party, community outreach and creating facilities for the teams and hundreds of media members. Others involve guaranteeing thousands of free parking spaces, providing the city’s top hotel rooms at no cost and using police officers for escorts.
Carlson says the fact the document was kept secret from the public raises an eyebrow.
“What are we going to have is another surprise,” he said. “’Oh, I didn’t realize this was in the agreement and bingo, Minneapolis taxpayers are at risk.”
Some agreements to the specifications may come from private businesses, like transportation contracts, lodging, catering and security.
Mayor Betsey Hodges’ office said the mayor doesn’t know the exact details of what the city’s host committee agreed to, but that the costs won’t come back to taxpayers.
In a statement, Hodges said:
“Incremental costs related to hosting the Super Bowl – like policing, traffic control, public works and the like – will not be borne by the taxpayer.”
Instead, the mayor says the host committee is pledging private funding — the details of which have not been released.
Michelle Kelm-Helgen, the chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, as well as Barb Johnson, City Council President, did not reply to request for comment.