The fast-on-his-feet former tap dancer, now head of U.S. Bancorp Richard Davis and successful Super Bowl bid veteran Marilyn Carlson Nelson will make the sales pitch for the Twin Cities to the NFL owners on Tuesday in Atlanta.
The two are chairs of the bid steering committee along with Ecolab chief Doug Baker who won't make the trip to Atlanta.
Davis is a fast-thinking, commanding speaker with an assured manner. Carlson Nelson is also a veteran in the spotlight. She was a leader of the successful effort that brought the 1992 Super Bowl bid to the Metrodome.
The two will be among the five from the Twin Cities delegation in the room with the owners of the 32 NFL teams. The other three Minnesotans won't be allowed to speak. Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf will be present in the room as owners.
Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis are the three finalists for the game. The owners will hear the presentations from each city then immediately take a vote and announce the winner. Most media isn't allowed in the room, but the NFL Network will broadcast the voting live.
The vote is part of the regularly scheduled owners meeting that begins Monday at the Ritz in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. All cities will have an hour to practice and prep for their presentations in closed-door sessions Monday.
The owners are the only ones who vote on where to send the game.
In 2018, the new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium will have played host to two Vikings seasons. The team is hoping to bring the game to town to showcase the massive new stadium.
In other action, the Vikings report that they've now sold 2,900 new season tickets for next season at the TCF Bank stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. (These are tickets sold to fans who did NOT have season tickets at the Metrodome.)
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson two weeks ago said the team had sold 2,000 new season tickets, attributing the interest to excitement about the new stadium and a desire of fans to get higher priority for seats at the Minnesota Multipurpose statdium when it opens for the 2016 NFL season.
The team also now has 1,000 appointments scheduled for ticketholders in the preview center that showcases club seats and visuals of the new facility.
Eight members of the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee will make the trip to Atlanta next week for the NFL owners' vote on the location of the 2018 game.
Minneapolis, New Orleans and Indianapolis are the three finalists making presentations to the 32 owners at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead on Tuesday, May 19. The vote is taking place during the NFL Spring League Meetings.
Those listed as attending the event include Mark and Zygi Wilf, the team's owners, as well as Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for public affairs.
Also from the committee on the trip: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies, Richard Davis, president of U.S. Bank, Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, Michael Langley, chief executive officer of Greater MSP and Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, the city's convention bureau.
Notably absent is Ecolab's Doug Baker. He is a committee chairman, but apparently had a prior commitment and won't make the trip.
Word is the NFL allows five people in the room for the sales pitch, but only two people are allowed to speak. No one has said who will speak for Minnesota.
Members of the Minnesota panel will speak to the media Monday night after their one-hour rehearsal session that is set to occur between 5-8 p.m. eastern time. The NFL hasn't yet told Minneapolis when it will have the room.
The vote on the city occurs Tuesday afternoon. Reporters won't be allowed in the room for the vote, but will be able to watch - with the rest of the world - via live feed on the NFL Network.
Committee members say they're going to meet with the media after the vote - "regardless of vote outcome."
The Ritz-Carlton is at 3434 Peachtree Road NE in Atlanta's swank Buckhead area.
Hey Metrodome Mourners, it's not too late to get a piece of your favorite stadium. "Crowdcut" is offering half-off package deals just in time for Mother's or Father's Day. Perhaps that college graduate would like a dome seat to decorate the new apartment or the spare bedroom at mom's house.
The deals start at $35 and are offered at three levels. Lots of memorabilia can be had. Tops and bottoms are available. A Metrodome seat top comes with a number on it. If you'd prefer a bottom, you get no number, but you do get authentication. Crowdcut touts the seats as "perfect for autographs with a silver Sharpie."
You can get a piece of the turf, the roof or a 3"x3" "piece of "Game Used Locker Room." (Doesn't appear the locker's users will be specified. Absent DNA testing, you won't know whether you've got a piece of Adrian Peterson, Brett Favre or Dimitrius Underwood.)
All pieces come with COA, certificate of authenticity. Shipping is extra and ranges from $6 to $10.
Remember: You don't have to be a sports fan to want a hunk of the Dome. Perhaps you have fond memories of that late 1980s Rolling Stones concert or you met your spouse at a Monster Truck Jam.
Meanwhile, the new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium is climbing fast on the Dome site. Work is starting to be visible above the fence-line. It's only gonna get higher, folks.
Also, if you're looking for a little something for that special Strib reporter in your life, a Duluth Pack Metrodome roof purse would make her (briefly) happy.
The 2018 Super Bowl bid will be mind-blowing.
That's how US Bancorp Chief Executive Officer Richard Davis described it in a presentation to the media Wednesday morning.
To be exact, he said, "We're going to put together a plan that will blow their mind." Davis was talking about the presentation the crew is giving to the 32 NFL owners in Atlanta in two weeks as well as the Super Bowl week.
He spoke for nearly an hour to reporters along with Ecolab Chief Doug Baker and Carlson Cos. Marilyn Carlson Nelson. The trio represent the co-chairs of the committee aiming to bring the 2018 game to the Twin Cities. The region - along with Indianapolis and New Orleans - is a finalist for the game.
On May 20, the cities make closed-door presentations to the NFL owners at their meetings in Atlanta, then wait outside for the word while the owners vote.
Davis said the corporate response to the bid has been tremendous, that within the first week, 75 percent of the money needed to put on the game was raised and now 85 percent has been raised. The estimated $30-$40 million will be there, he said.
Notably, Davis also said the money will go to cover extra security costs so cities won't be facing big overtime bills for security and traffic control.
Off the top, Davis said he wouldn't reveal "themes or secret weapons" in the bid or the details. The panel is concerned about the other two cities monitoring the news and gaining an edge.
He asked reporters in the room to "be a visceral competitor for this city."
At the center of the bid, he noted, is the "iconic" new stadium set to open in 2016. He and the others talked about the cutting-edge facility. Davis dismissed the stadium opponents with, "We're going to build a new stadium; get over it."
He and the others repeatedly said the pitch and the week of Super Bowl events are an opportunity to celebrate winter and tell the Minnesota story.
The Twin Cities' Super Bowl bid goes to all 32 NFL owners on iPads by Wednesday.
Now the co-chairs of the panel making the pitch (pass?) will meet with reporters to talk about what they've turned in. The Twin Cities (plus Bloomington) are one of three finalists for the 2018 Super Bowl game. New Orleans and Indianapolis also are in the hunt.
A "media availability" is happening at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Minnesota Vikings Board Room in their Preview Center and Sales office. That's the place where the Purple pitches (passes?) season tickets and stadium-builder licenses to fans.
Gov. Mark Dayton appointed the bid committee earlier this year. The chairmen and woman will be available for questioning Wednesday. They are: Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson Companies, Richard Davis of U.S. Bancorp and Doug Baker of Ecolab.
The three have thus far not discussed details of the bid and it's unclear what they might have to say Wednesday.
The NFL owners will hear a formal pitch and vote on May 20 in Atlanta on where to play the game.
The new Minnesota Multipurpose Stadium will be almost two years old in time for the 2018 game. The Vikings play their first season at the new place in 2016.