The 200-foot American Birkebeiner International Bridge will come to downtown Minneapolis during the 10-day Super Bowl Live event on Nicollet Mall.
The bridge will be open to the public and built on Nicollet Mall over 9th Street South during the free event. The bridge will showcase demonstrations of cross-country skiing, skijoring and tubing.
The bridge is an “iconic centerpiece” of the American Birkebeiner (Birkie), the 35-mile cross-country ski race held each February in Hayward, Wis., according to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. The Wisconsin event, the nation’s largest cross-country ski race, cuts through the North Woods on the Birkie Trail.
Until January, the bridge has never been erected outside Hayward where it is assembled once a year for Birkie activities.
The 44th annual Birkie will take place Feb. 22-25. Super Bowl Live starts Jan. 26 and ends on Sunday, Feb. 4, hours before the football game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Some 13,500 skiers from 48 states and 22 countries skied over the bridge at the Birkie earlier this year, executive director Ben Popp said.
The bridge will also be part of the City of Lakes Loppet Festival. The Loppet Foundation will bring snowmakers to downtown, transforming two blocks of Nicollet Mall into a “winter playground,” according to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.
The bridge will be covered in snow from 12 dump trucks.