Minneapolis’ bid to cap a historic two-year run of major sporting events with the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship at the new Vikings stadium fell short on Wednesday, in part because of the streak that would precede it, NCAA leaders said.
The city’s U.S. Bank Stadium, which opens next summer, is hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 and the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in 2019.
“In a way we are a victim of our own success,” said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and a member of the bid committee. “But we are going to obviously show college football what a good job we do in the Super Bowl and Final Four. I think we’re all confident that although we didn’t get it for 2020, I think we’re very hopeful for 2021.”
Minutes before, College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock announced that New Orleans would host college football’s title game in 2020, the only year for which Minneapolis bid. Hancock also announced that Atlanta would host the game in 2018 with Santa Clara, Calif., to follow in 2019.
“[It would be] back-to-back-to-back,” Hancock said of Minneapolis’ bid, citing concerns about “community fatigue” in terms of energy and resources. “I’m not sure we wanted to be third in that row.”
Gov. Mark Dayton submitted the title game bid, which required between $8 million and $12 million in fundraising, in May with the hope that U.S. Bank Stadium again would prove to be the winning lure. Although the College Football Playoff has not announced when the next bidding cycle will be, Kelm-Helgen firmly vowed that Minneapolis again will submit a proposal, refuting Hancock’s assertion about fatigue and noting that the organizing committee’s three private sector co-chairs that were involved with fundraising “made it very specific, if it’s a two-phase process, they’ll be there.”
The estimated economic impact of holding the event in Minneapolis has been estimated to be between $100 million and $300 million. Dallas-area organizers of the last year’s inaugural College Football Playoff title game predicted an overall impact of more than $300 million.
Melvin Tennant, President and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, called the city’s bid “extremely solid,” but said a future version only would improve as the city’s landscape changes with the development of Nicollet Mall and new hotels.
But the opening of the stadium, which Hancock toured and was “blown away” by, could be the final push, Kelm-Helgen said.
“We were able to secure bids for the Super Bowl and Final Four with basically this preview center being the virtual tour of the stadium,” she said. “So at a certain point, I think having our building done and open and people will be able to see it, touch it, feel it — it’s only going to help our opportunities in the future.”