MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We are not trying to jinx anything, but the facts are the facts. The Minnesota Vikings have a solid chance of making it to the Super Bowl.
In fact, they are the first hometown team to make it this close to a hometown Super Bowl. The team is one game away from making it a reality.
But is that a good thing or a bad thing for the local economy?
Not many saw this one coming, the Vikings have a good chance. What we have seen coming for years is the Super Bowl itself. It’s projected to generate $400 million locally.
Andrea Mokros is the vice president of communications for the Super Bowl Host Committee.
“I would say I see nothing but upside potential to having a hometown game,” Mokros said.
The host committee is hopeful the festival leading up to the game would be larger if fans were within driving distance.
“Generally game-goers don’t come in till Thursday or Friday, so this has potential to really see an explosion of interest that entire 10 days,” Mokros said.
And the manager of The Local on Nicollet Mall, which is near the Super Bowl Festival, is hopeful too.
“Business-wise we expect to be busy no matter who’s in the game since we have one million people coming into town,” Brian Johnston said.
Because in the last 51 years, there’s never been a hometown team. There’s not an exact economic precedent, but we did find a recent comparison.
Just last week, the College Football Playoff championship was hosted in Atlanta. Both teams were within driving distance. Which as the headline of the AJC newspaper shows was a mixed economic bag, saying not as many people stayed in hotels.
What was supposed to be an $85 million boost for Atlanta was adjusted to $65 million, according to Bruce Seaman, an economist at Georgia State University.
We also talked with Mark Woodworth, the senior managing director head of lodging research at CBRE Hotels | Americas Research about Atlanta.
“Because demand was low (people drove from home or stayed only one night) occupancies were off and the room rate premiums were not as high. Downtown hotels generally did okay,” Woodworth said.
But he said hotels in outlying areas were not as full as expected.
As for Minnesota, economic hopes are high – but loyalty is deep.
Brian Johnston says no matter what, “I definitely want the Vikings in that game for sure.”