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Super Bowl LII: Dateline Minnesota

Rochelle Olson updates you on Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Super Bowl Committee kicks off 52 weeks of giving

The Minnesota Super Bowl countdown is on and so is the 52 weeks of giving campaign.

The first grant went to the Loppet Foundation to help build the Trailhead in Theodore Wirth Park. The committee donated $52,000, money raised from private donations.

Construction is expected to begin on the the Trailhead project later this year. It's a joint effort between the foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The project includes a yearround facility and improved recreation areas at the park in north Minneapolis.

The Super Bowl committee is giving out the grants in an effort to make Super Bowl LII (52) a statewide event. The grants will be targeted at youth sports safety. The Loppet Foundation conducts youth outreach to improve community health.

“Since 2002, 9,000 young people from our neighboring community of North Minneapolis have taken part in our youth programs,” said John Munger, executive director of the foundation.

The foundation partners with elementary, middle and high schools near Theodore Wirth Park. The youths participate in outdoor activities like mountain biking, cross country skiing, trail running, paddling and orienteering. 

The Super Bowl Host Committee is a private nonprofit corporation formed to run the NFL's big game Feb. 4, 2018. To put on the event, the committee is raising more than $30 million although they won't say how much.

 

Super Bowl: Taste of the NFL heads home to Minnesota next year

Adventurous eaters who can snag tickets, will enjoy the Taste of the NFL next year in Minnesota.

Founded by Twin Cities restaurateur Wayne Kostroski in 1992, the event has become a fixture of Super Bowl festivities on the eve of the game. The purpose is to raise money for food shelves with auctions.

Each of the 32 NFL cities is represented by a chef and a former player who signs autographs. In the lead up to next year's game in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings also will host a new event June: Taste of the Minnesota Vikings. Details to be determined.

I was there last night to sample the food and the scene. Representing Minnesota again this year were Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone, the guys behind Corner Table and Revival in Minneapolis and (now!) Revival in St. Paul. Last year, they served up pork jowl. This year, they dished out fabulous fried chicken livers that, sadly, are not available in their restaurants.

Every food station featured a wine pairing with the generous portions of food. The tastings aren't for the timid or vegetarians. The most mainstream offering: Veal meatballs and a cheesy pasta with truffles.

My favorite - improbably - was the clam chowder from Miami with a side of Nueske's bacon. Best clam chowder ever.

Each city is paired with an NFL player. Minnesota had Randall McDaniel again this year. Some players have longer lines for autographs than others and McDaniel's line was steady all night, but he kept it up with his easy charm.

Today's game day. Media shuttle buses started at noon. For the first 30 minutes, the buses get police escorts. The last bus leaves at 5 p.m. The first bus back leaves immediately after the game. 

Security is intense for the event - as you can imagine. Media go through multiple checkpoints, bags are opened and equipment laid out on tables. There are separate lines for print reporters and camera crews. 

The security and entertainment for the game requires lots of space around the stadium so I wouldn't expect the tailgating lots to be open in Minneapolis.