Private donations were used to reimburse Minneapolis for its $7.4 million public cost to host the Super Bowl, city officials say.
The city said the privately supported Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee lived up to its promise to cover public costs relating to the game, with all but some last-minute invoices paid up. The bulk of the charges were for security, parking and use of the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The pro football event required massive government support, from police overtime to hundreds of food inspections. The city struck a deal with the Host Committee last June with a tentative budget of $4.9 million, which specified that the committee could request additional services if it agreed to pay for them.
City records show that occurred more than two dozen times, including adding more than $400,000 to the tab for street obstruction permits and lane closure fees.
“I think we were all a little uncertain on how this was going to turn out,” Mark Ruff, the city’s chief financial officer, told a City Council committee Thursday. “But I think all in all it exceeded my expectations.”
Some past Super Bowl cities have not fared as well.
San Francisco was left with more than $4 million in unpaid expenses after Super Bowl 50 in 2016. Glendale, Ariz., spent about $1 million hosting the game in 2015, which wasn’t reimbursed. Houston was repaid $5.5 million in 2017, but the surrounding Harris County was left with a $1.3 million tab.
Host Committee communications director Andrea Mokros said the contract allowed for a real-time accounting of costs. She noted that the payments to Minneapolis also reimbursed the various law enforcement agencies from around the state that sent officers to help.
“As a … nonprofit organization, we raised the funds to host these events from our corporate community,” Mokros wrote in an e-mail.
It’s not clear if other local governments have unpaid expenses related to the game.
Mokros said the Host Committee also reimbursed the state $1.1 million for the services of the National Guard. Metro Transit spent about $1 million providing extra transit service, but spokesman Drew Kerr said this was offset by $519,000 in fares and $814,000 in advertising revenue.
The city of Bloomington is still tallying its costs, but City Manager Jamie Verbrugge said it had an agreement with Minneapolis and a separate arrangement with the NFL and expected to be made whole.
Minneapolis’ price tag does not include the cost of having employees diverted from their regular duties. But Ruff said he expects that to be more than offset by a boost in sales taxes, once projected to be $2.5 million, which will be officially tallied in late April.
“A lot of our staff put in some pretty extraordinary work and were assigned to Super Bowl duties different from their regular tasks,” said Council Member Steve Fletcher. “And that does come at a cost to the city.”
The event involved some massive numbers. The city’s traffic control division wrote more than 3,600 citations over the 10-day period. Police screened more than 1,700 cars, seized 154 counterfeit tickets and confiscated 7,500 items of counterfeit merchandise.
After accounting for interest and inflation, the city is paying an estimated $631 million over 30 years to finance and operate U.S. Bank Stadium, where the game was played. City money has also aided the development of the nearby Commons park and the renovated Nicollet Mall, which had starring roles during the week’s festivities.