Finks told the owners that Minnesota has made positive contributions to the NFL since joining in 1961 and noted the Vikings were the first expansion team to play in the Super Bowl.
Finks' onetime boss, former Vikings owner Max Winter, was part of the videotape presentation. The camera started with a tight shot of Winter, who said it always has been his dream to have a Super Bowl in Minnesota. The camera pulled back to show Winter sitting alone in the Metrodome. He told owners that he wasn't planning to leave until the Super Bowl came to Minnesota, and, gesturing to an empty seat, he said, "I'll save a seat for you."
Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, along with Perpich and task force chairwoman Marilyn Nelson, spoke to the owners. Boschwitz said that before becoming a senator he had built Plywood Minnesota with three elements - quality, value and service. He promised the NFL that the same elements would go into staging the Super Bowl.
Minnesota made the first presentation, followed by Detroit, Seattle and Indianapolis. Lynn, who spoke with all 27 owners in the days leading to the vote, then led a floor debate by reminding the owners that it was he who had lobbied in 1985 to put the Super Bowl in a northern-tier city.
Lynn fought at the 1985 spring owners meeting to bring the Super Bowl north after Minnesota had failed in four attempts to gain the game. Minnesota was one of four finalists in 1984 for the 1987 and 1988 Super Bowls, which went to Pasadena's Rose Bowl and San Diego. In March 1985, Minnesota was turned down as a site for the 1989 and 1990 Super Bowls, which went to Miami and New Orleans.
"Five years ago, Mike pushed for the idea to get a northern-tier city. The feeling was that Mike was a moving force. There was a lot of sentiment for him," Bowlen said.
Said Nelson: "Mike did more than anyone will ever know. What he did last time was a miracle. . . . The league didn't want to go north."
Bowlen said that Seattle might have been hurt by having a new owner, Ken Behring, who hasn't yet developed strong ties with other owners, and that Indianapolis might have been hurt by being a relatively new NFL city.
Earlier in the day, at a preliminary meeting with the Super Bowl search committee, it appeared that Minnesota's bid might be weakened after the NFL told task force members it could not accept a bid that included a $1 million guarantee for parking. The figure was knocked down to about $450,000 to cover game-day parking, $200,000 for press facilities and $100,000 for game-day expenses.
Seattle's $1.5 million guarantee to help defray league costs was whittled down by about a million. Neither Detroit nor Indianapolis offered similar financial guarantees.
The NFL viewed the figures as "definitely an enticement," according to NFL director of special events Jim Steeg. "It was an excess amount of money to buy the game," Steeg said. "There was sentiment in the room (the NFL) didn't want to sell the Super Bowl."
Nelson said the $1 million guarantee was to make up for the revenue that Detroit's Silverdome in Pontiac, Mich., could provide over the Metrodome because of its 9,000-seat edge. With temporary seats, the Metrodome can expand capacity to 71,619.
Lynn said the "big news" was that he was prepared to offer NFL owners 7,000 seats allocated for Vikings ticket holders if anyone questioned the difference in seating between Detroit and Minnesota.
"Nobody asked and I didn't have to use it," he said. "If I had to give up all the season-ticket holders' tickets, I wouldn't have been too popular in Minnesota. But if it was the price we had to pay to get the Super Bowl, I would've done it."
Lola Perpich emerged unscathed from her husband's happy horseplay after the announcement. "I've learned to dodge his punches," she said.
"I did it one time at a hockey game," the governor said, "and almost knocked her out."