MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When it comes to Super Bowl plans, most Minnesotans are trying to figure out where we want to watch the game and what kind of food we want to eat.
But for a handful of Minnesotans, Super Bowl 50 is an event to be studied from every angle.
Seven members of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee will be spending a week out in San Francisco to see what they can learn about what works and what does not work.
Their goal is to learn everything they can so everything goes flawlessly when Minnesota hosts the Super Bowl in 2018.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is headquartered in a small, purple-tinged office in downtown Minneapolis — with a spectacular view of U.S. Bank Stadium.
“There are seven of us traveling to San Francisco next week to really see the best of what can be offered, and take some of those best ideas and bring them here to apply to Minneapolis,” committee Vice President Andrea Mokros said.
While more than 70,000 fans will watch the actual Super Bowl game in Minneapolis, one million people are expected to visit the Twin Cities during the ten days before the game.
A spectacular ice palace on St. Paul’s Harriet Island was a huge hit when the Twin Cities hosted Super Bowl 26 in 1992.
“We are hoping that, you know, the Winter Carnival will once again build an ice palace in St. Paul,” Mokros said. “We’re looking forward to showcasing things like the loppet that are really unique to Minnesota.”
They are already planning for a “Super Bowl Boulevard” in downtown Minneapolis that will feature free concerts and winter sports demonstrations. The committee’s website features the slogan “Coming To The Bold North.”
“As we like to say, you can’t hide February in Minnesota [laughs], so we plan to embrace the cold and embrace the winter sports,” Mokros said.
The committee has already booked more than 10,000 hotel rooms, but its most important job right now is fundraising.
“This is a privately-funded effort. All those parties and fireworks, etc., that are put on are put on with private funds, and it’s our job right now to go out and reach out to the community to raise the money to make those events possible,” she said.
The committee does not have a total for how much they have to raise, but it will be in the tens of millions of dollars.
But the payout is worth it. The Super Bowl is expected to bring in $400 million into the local economy.