The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is opening a signature space in the heart of downtown where thousands of volunteers will pass through for the 10-day event next January and February.

The volunteer headquarters will be at 7th Street and Nicollet Mall in space occupied by the now-shuttered Sports Authority store. It will open Aug. 12.

During the lead-up to the Super Bowl, Nicollet Mall — and the volunteer center — will be a bubbling hub of nonstop activity. Throughout the events, volunteers will come and go, lounge, chat and receive training in the building. Super Bowl organizers have talked about a “wow factor” that will inspire, welcome and impress volunteers.

Some 20,000 people already have applied to volunteer before, during and after the game. About 10,000 volunteers are needed to put on the event. (No volunteers will be used in U.S. Bank Stadium during the game.)

Super Bowl CEO Maureen Bausch said volunteers will “provide our guests a warm welcome to a final goodbye.”

Interviews for the volunteers begin Aug. 12. Despite an impressive number of applicants, the host committee still wants more. “We know there will be attrition at each step of the process and we want to be sure we will have 10,000 well-qualified volunteers who are excited to be part of Crew 52,” spokesman Mike Howard said, using the official name of the operation.

Minnesota Super Bowl volunteers will serve at public gathering points such as airports, skyways, hotels and events. The committee is looking for outgoing, upbeat personalities to fill the positions.

Applicants go through an interview process, background check and training sessions. They will be expected to work a minimum of three shifts of four to six hours.

For their work, volunteers will receive free uniforms, including winter parkas that can withstand a deep freeze.

Applications are being taken at


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