Super Bowl bid goes in Wednesday, but what's in it remains secret

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2014 - 5:44 AM

For an event billed as a community pitch, the Twin Cities’ Super Bowl 2018 bid is looking more like a state secret.

Precious few details of the bid being submitted to NFL owners on Wednesday are public. Bid boosters say they have to stay mum lest they lose an edge to the high-level competition from New Orleans and Indianapolis.

Not only will they not talk about how much money they have to raise — an estimated several hundred thousand dollars to prepare the bid and $30 million if the Twin Cities gets the game — but they won’t reveal who’ll give the presentation to the 32 NFL owners in Atlanta before the vote May 20.

The NFL allows two officials from each city to give a closed-door presentation before the owners privately vote on who gets the game. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed three co-chairs for the bid committee: Richard Davis of U.S. Bank, Doug Baker of Ecolab and Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Cos. Early word is Davis and Carlson Nelson, who played a key role in bringing the last Super Bowl to the Twin Cities in 1992, will speak to the owners.

The three chairs plan to have a news conference to talk about the bid on Wednesday after the submission deadline. But reports are conflicting on what — if anything — they will share about the bid at the news conference — or ever. Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and tourism bureau, is physically preparing the bid.

The ballpark estimate is that the bid will cost several hundred thousand dollars to prepare with staff time and travel costs. It will be given to NFL owners and executives on iPads donated by Best Buy.

Kristen Montag, spokeswoman for Meet Minneapolis, said last week, “We still have to do the presentation in Atlanta, and we cannot share details prior to that as we are in competition with two other cities.”

Estimates of the economic benefits of hosting a Super Bowl range widely, from less than $100 million to more than $300 million. But boosters argue that the direct income pales in comparison to the public relations bonanza of having your city’s charms touted to millions of television viewers.

Meet Minneapolis is one of several taxpayer-subsidized and funded agencies working on the game, which would be played in a publicly subsidized $1 billion stadium scheduled to open for the 2016 season.

State and city employees also are working on the effort, including Michele Kelm-Helgen, the governor’s appointee as chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. In an interview Friday, she responded to questions carefully. “I know the bid is very large,” she said.

Kelm-Helgen said she spends roughly 10 percent of her time now on the bid. She was in the contingent that traveled to New York recently to confer with the NFL on details. Also working on the bid is Katie Clark Sieben, state commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Whether the details of the bid will ever become public remains unclear. Kelm-Helgen wasn’t sure — and no one else was talking. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league does not release the bids itself but does not prohibit their release.

The bids are extensive. Cities that want the game are expected to respond to some 180 pages of information sought by the NFL on topics ranging from venues for parties, the number of hotel rooms, transportation options from the airport, public transit availability and the number of limousines for lease.

Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley, on the bid committee, deferred questions to the co-chairs, but denied that there was any secrecy surrounding the bid or the fundraising.

Behind the scenes, the committee leaders have been meeting with other high-level civic leaders — often at the Vikings preview center overlooking the construction site of the Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium. A Twin Cities ad agency has reportedly been working on marketing and a slogan for the bid, but even the employees working on it aren’t allowed to confer with colleagues. It’s not clear who is donating time and who is being paid.

The debate about economic benefits aside, taxpayers will face costs. For example, overtime pay for public safety was substantial when the Super Bowl came to the Metrodome in 1992, an era with much looser requirements for such things.

But the boosters of the 1992 game say money won’t be the deciding issue with the owners.

“The NFL, which is happy to take money any way they can, says you can’t buy the Super Bowl,” said Dave Mona, a retired public relations executive who helped lead the earlier effort.

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

  • related content

  • Video: Main concourse of Vikings stadium taking shape

    Monday May 5, 2014

    Get the latest look at the Vikings stadium construction.

  • The field and NFL logo are covered with confetti after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. Minnesota’s Super Bowl Bid Committee submitted the state’s preliminary bid April 1,2014, to host Super Bowl LII in 2018.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 49 3rd Qtr 4:43
LA Lakers 60
Phoenix 55 2nd Qtr 1:43
LA Clippers 56
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 3rd Prd 16:22
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close