By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Super Bowl LII is less than two weeks away, and it’s exciting news for thousands of local drivers.

gettyimages 634301222 1 Super Bowl To Drive Ride Sharing Demand

(credit: Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft)

“I’m actually looking forward to it,” said Uber driver Jesse Seward. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be extremely busy.”

Ride-sharing services like Uber, iHail and Lyft will be a critical part of the Super Bowl’s overall transit plan. The host committee predicts that 1 million visitors will take part in events over the next two weeks.

“It’s a piece of our puzzle and the equation that gets people to and from not only game day, but to the entire 10 day events,” said Kyle Chank, the vice president of operations and logistics for the local host committee.

Because of this expected demand, ride-share companies are continuing to enlist drivers. Thousands are already licensed and approved to assure their vehicles meet safety inspections and they pass background checks.

“It should be an incredible two weeks in the Twin Cities,” said Chapin Hansen, Lyft’s market manager.

“Thursday, Feb. 1, is when fans really start coming in and the airport will pick up significantly,” he added. “Then, events like at the Armory, Nicollet mall and the St. Paul Winter Carnival get going.”

Designated lots near the stadium, airport and convention center will ease pickups and drop offs for ride-sharing customers.

Other lots are being set aside to help drivers recharge during downtime in their days.

While riders should expect longer wait times and higher fares, the higher demand will be good for drivers like Seward.

“When it’s not Super Bowl, I never made below 20 bucks an hour, so I imagine it will be a lot of money,” he said. “Especially if rates triple or quadruple what they’re going to be, I’m going to make a lot of money.”

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