Mona believes that what made the difference then was the back-scratching and deal-making among the owners by former Vikings general manager Mike Lynn. “In the end, it’s a political contest,” Mona said. “Remember who votes.”
The telegenic new NFL stadium is key. It’s the big stick owners can use on other regions to say: Build a stadium and you can get the Super Bowl, Mona said.
That’s been the case recently in other areas with the same two-year time frame.
AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, opened in 2009 in Arlington, Texas. The Super Bowl arrived in 2011. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., opens this season. The Super Bowl arrives in 2016. The Minnesota facility opens in 2016. The cities want the 2018 game.
Twin Cities businessman Harvey Mackay was also part of the earlier effort. Mackay said he expects the bid committee will come up with a surprise. In 1992, that was the proposal for Taste of the NFL, bringing in 32 chefs from the league cities for a charity event. The event has become integral to Super Bowl weeks.
“You have to prove you’ve got a vibrant and dynamic community,” Mackay said. “Creativity also comes into play. … What they’ve got up their sleeves this time, I’m not sure. There’s always surprises.”
Mona dismissed the state of stealth surrounding the bid, calling it “silly,” adding, “The subject is of interest and there’s a certain amount of mystique, but it’s not as mysterious as it seems.”
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 Twitter: @rochelleolson