The National Football League’s 32 owners will receive their 2018 Super Bowl bids from the Twin Cities on shiny new iPads donated by Best Buy.
That’s a slight upgrade from the chocolate ducks — many with broken necks — the owners received as part of Minneapolis’ successful bid for the 1992 game.
In addition to the team owners, a handful of NFL executives also will get their bids on iPads, which start at $400 per tablet, from the Richfield-headquartered retailer. The final bid from the three cities in the running — Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis — will be submitted May 7.
“We are grateful for … the many corporate and civic partners who have stepped up to support the Super Bowl bid,” team Vice President Lester Bagley said Wednesday, adding that the extensive Twin Cities civic support has been noted by the NFL.
Bagley and a Twin Cities contingent spent more than three hours with NFL executives in New York on Tuesday, combing over the preliminary Super Bowl bid. He was joined at the meeting by Vikings President Mark Wilf; representatives from Meet Minneapolis, which is the city’s tourism bureau, and Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
The Minnesotans met with members of the NFL’s Super Bowl committee, which already visited the Twin Cities to tour potential event venues in Minneapolis, Bloomington and St. Paul.
The NFL officials are also meeting with representatives of New Orleans and Indianapolis, the other two cities in the running for the ’18 game.
Kelm-Helgen said both sides asked a lot of questions, but she wouldn’t share specifics. She said she came away “cautiously optimistic” about the chances of bringing the 2018 game to the new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium. The $1 billion stadium will open in time for the Vikings’ 2016 season.
“We’re building the next great stadium in the NFL,” Bagley said. “This stadium was built to host the Super Bowl.”
The NFL owners will gather May 19-20 at the Ritz-Carlton in the Buckhead area of Atlanta for their meetings. The Super Bowl decision will be made May 20 after presentations by the three cities.
The owners will vote behind closed doors at the Ritz-Carlton, where the cheapest rooms that week start at $375 per night.
Indianapolis has recently hosted a Super Bowl and New Orleans notoriously did so in 2013 with a game distinguished by a 34-minute power outage. The city’s tricentennial occurs in 2018, and some have said that because of that, Minneapolis could wait a year to host the game.
Kelm-Helgen said that was not a topic discussed in New York with the NFL.
The details of the Minneapolis bid are not public, nor will they be released when the final proposal is delivered on those iPads.
It is expected that the NFL elites will donate their tablets to charity.