MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Super Bowl is just two-and-a-half months away and the question remains: Is Minneapolis ready?
This week, city officials will hold a reopening celebration to mark the end of most construction on the revamped Nicollet Mall.
But now that people can walk down the mall again, it’s easier to see the empty storefronts, including the old Macy’s and Barnes and Noble stores.
Additionally, crime in downtown continues to be the worst of any neighborhood in the city. Statistics for the latest month available (July) show there were 30 robberies, 18 aggravated assaults and four rapes in that month alone.
Downtown’s struggles are considered one of the reasons incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges lost her re-election bid last week. Mayor-elect Jacob Frey is promising a turnaround.
“We will be ready for the Super Bowl here, and that is not to say we don’t have a crime problem,” he said on WCCO Sunday Morning. “Right now we have seen a 200 percent uptick in violent crimes, especially shootings .Over the next two months we are going to be working with the Minneapolis Police Department, our new chief Rondo as well as other jurisdictions to make sure we do have a complete safety in the area of the Super Bowl.”
Mayor-elect Frey will be sworn in in January, and thus will be mayor when the Super Bowl comes to town. Up to a million people are expected to visit the Twin Cities for the 10 days of events leading up to the big game on Feb. 4.