Super Bowl LII is less than two months away, and preparations in Minneapolis are in full swing. Local organizers are focused on the impact that one of the most-watched sporting events in the world will have on the entire state — a region they are referring to as the “Bold North.”
That designation makes sense, as U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis is only the second facility in a cold-weather state to host the big game. A certain degree of boldness is required to undertake this endeavor, especially when average temperatures in early February are still below freezing. Ten days of festivities will include the free and open-to-the-public Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon, with concerts, outdoor activities and food.
According to an article co-written by the co-chairs of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and posted on StarTribune.com,” more than 5,000 international media members will spend up to a week in Minnesota leading up to the game; hundreds of hours of programming will be aired, countless stories will be published and more than 100 million viewers worldwide will watch the game live from Minnesota. Additionally, more than 1 million people will visit the metro area.”
They also claim hosting Super Bowl LII will help recruit jobseekers to the market, as well as boost growth in tourism and convention business. They cite Indianapolis, which hosted the Super Bowl in 2012 and subsequently experienced a 20 percent increase in conference business. The Super Bowl’s estimated economic impact to the Minneapolis/St. Paul region is more than $400 million.
Additionally, organizers have created The Legacy Fund, a 52-weeks campaign that will provide grant money to statewide communities committed to improving the health and wellness of Minnesota Children. The majority of the funds have been used to fuel the “Super School Breakfast” program, which provides classroom meals. By the time the best teams in the NFC and AFC kickoff Feb 4, more than $5 million will have been invested in this effort, organizers say — with the majority of grant recipients being organizations that serve children in poverty. Meanwhile, the Super Snack Challenge has encouraged kids to share healthy game day recipes.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund also recently awarded a $50,000 grant to Southwest Health and Human Services in Marshall, Minn., to help the city build a new park in an area already used for sports and other events.
It’s clear organizers aim to set a new standard to ensure that hosting a Super Bowl doesn’t only impact the teams, fans, advertisers and sponsors, but also just about everybody else. “[This] gives us a once-in-a-generation chance to showcase everything we love about Minnesota, but more importantly, it’s our opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for our state’s future,” said Dana Nelson, vice president of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund.