MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is uncomfortable with the kind of perks the Super Bowl Committee may have promised the NFL.
They require snow plow priority, summer golf courses and even world-class bowling alleys for an NFL celebrity tournament.
“It doesn’t look good,” Dayton said.
He still hasn’t seen what the bid committee agreed to, but reluctantly agrees that it’s the price of getting a Super Bowl.
“I don’t think anybody needs free bowling alleys. Anybody who can afford to come here for the Super Bowl can afford to pay for their shoes and bowling ball and lane time,” he said.
The State of Minnesota is already on the hook for about $9 million in NFL tax breaks, mostly for taxes on tickets and merchandise. But U.S. Bank Corp. CEO Richard Davis says the Super Bowl Bid Committee has raised between $30 – $40 million to pay for most of it, including most of the cost of security.
“That’s why we have to raise that much money. Whatever is left and it’s done by tax rebates, we’ll take care of the rest of it. And this will not be an issue for the people of Minnesota. It won’t,” Davis said.
Security at Super Bowls is a top priority, and Minnesota is preparing to ask the federal government to designate the 2018 Super Bowl as a “Level One National Security Event.”
Minnesota’s last event at this security level was in 2008 at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, a designation that makes such events eligible for millions of dollars in federal security grants.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told WCCO Tuesday by email that every Super Bowl since 9/11 has been a level one security event. And the NFL will also provide its own security team, which includes thousands of game-day and week-of security personnel.