Minnesota’s bid to land the 2018 Super Bowl hits high gear this week with a State Capitol news conference Monday followed by a restaurant reception Saturday with NFL leaders in New York City.
The weekend celebration at Il Gattopardo on W. 54th Street coincides with this year’s Super Bowl, and is to feature state and local business and community leaders committed to bringing “the world’s grandest event” to a new Vikings stadium opening in 2016, Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said Sunday.
“We’re excited about moving it forward,” he said of a bid being prepared now to win NFL owners’ approval in May. “We have a very strong chance of securing a Super Bowl for this market.”
The other finalists for Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018, are Indianapolis and New Orleans.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s office scheduled a news conference for Monday morning during which he is expected to name the leaders behind the local campaign.
His press secretary, Matt Swenson, declined to say Sunday whether Dayton would be traveling to New York.
NFL owners have shown a willingness to reward communities that build new stadiums, Bagley said. Minneapolis hosted the 1992 Super Bowl.
He said that when the Vikings stadium bill passed in 2012, the team went to the NFL and described a 50-50 partnership with the state that showed “we deserve to have this event in our community.”
Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing construction of the $1 billion stadium, said in October that the Super Bowl could generate more than $300 million for the local economy.
Bagley said he is part of a five-member steering committee now working through 190 pages of bid specifications. He is deferring to the governor to identify the other members, he said. Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors association, is working on hospitality arrangements.
Saturday’s reception in New York also will include Vikings owners and management, as well as league personnel “who will be there to see that we’re serious about it and have energy behind it,” Bagley said. Players expected to be on hand include center John Sullivan and tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Also Monday, the state is expected to begin marketing bonds for the new stadium, two weeks after their sale was delayed by a legal challenge.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said Sunday that the sale has a “green light” and that it will proceed Monday.