The National Football League announced on Tuesday that Minneapolis will host Super Bowl 2018 in its new stadium, currently under construction. The decision was made behind closed doors via a secret ballot after NFL owners listened to officials from Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and New Orleans pitch their facilities and cities as the very best to host the Super Bowl. When Minneapolis was announced as the winner, the group representing the Minnesota city cheered before accepting congratulations from the New Orleans delegation.
The decision was not made easily and came only after three other ballots were taken. The first ballot did not contain the required supermajority of 75 percent, a margin that has stayed firm since the first Super Bowl location vote was made. The second vote eliminated Indianapolis, and the third also failed to produce a supermajority. It was only on the fourth and final ballot that Minneapolis won a simple majority of votes.
The delegation for Minneapolis was headed by Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bancorp, and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, board chair of the Carlson Cos. They presented a multimedia pitch to the NFL owners that included star Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant and hometown Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. The theme of their presentation was “Built for the Bold.” Minneapolis’ twin city, St. Paul, promised to build an ice castle if the owners voted to send Super Bowl 2018 to Minnesota.
After the vote, the two Minnesota delegation heads celebrated by dancing and shouting with glee at the Ritz-Carlson in Atlanta. Davis sported a purple tie while Carlson Nelson wore a purple cocktail dress. Purple and gold are the colors of the Minnesota Vikings football team.
The celebration that comes with a winning Super Bowl bid is due to the fact that the Super Bowl has become a national event watched by football fans and non-football fans alike. The NFL Championship game brings thousands of people to the host city with millions of dollars of cash in hand as well as the immeasurable pride felt by the residents of the host city. Estimations of 100,000 visitors to Minneapolis for Super Bowl 2018 have been made. Translated into dollars, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development figures that these visitors will bring upwards of $324 million to the state.
The Super Bowl will be held in a brand new stadium currently under construction in the downtown area of Minneapolis after the Vikings spent a decade lobbying the NFL owners for a new stadium to replace the outdated Metrodome. In a controversial and highly disputed plan, Minnesota taxpayers are footing half of the price of the new stadium, which is estimated to cost $1 billion. Such large scale support from the citizens of the state does not go unnoticed by NFL owners, who know that new stadiums equal more money for the team.
The logo for the Minneapolis-hosted Super Bowl was unveiled on Monday. The design features an outline of the new stadium as well as the North Star. Colors of blue, green and purple are present to signify the northern lights and the Vikings. When turned sideways, the logo reveals itself to be the beginnings of a formation representing the shape of the state of Minnesota.
Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl last in 1992. The new stadium, which will mainly seat 65,400 but can be converted to fit the 72,000 Super Bowl fans expected to attend, is scheduled to be completed in 2016, making the city and the venue perfectly poised to host the media spectacle that is the Super Bowl 2018 in February of that year.
By Jennifer Pfalz