Super Bowl LII was one for the history books. Over 10 days, we saw more than 1.1 million people attend the festivities, taking in 48 free concerts on Nicollet Mall, one giant snowmobile back flip and, of course, an epic game in U.S. Bank Stadium seen by more than 103 million viewers worldwide.
It’s worth mentioning that Minnesota also set a new record for the coldest Super Bowl Sunday ever, recording just 2 degrees outside U.S. Bank Stadium at kickoff on Feb. 4.
While the snow has melted and the visitors are long gone, the benefits will affect our community for years to come.
The final numbers are in. Our community saw more than $370 million in positive economic benefit as a direct result from the event. This number does not include what would normally be spent in our market by locals going out for dinner or typical business travelers; these are dollars that would not have flowed into our market “but for” the Super Bowl.
It’s a big number, and the dollars are making a direct impact all across our community, providing a boost to companies and workers alike. For example, during the Super Bowl, Brit’s Pub twice beat daily sales records, generating a 370 percent increase in sales over the same 10-day period last year. And the benefits were felt not only by our hospitality industry, our bars, restaurants, hotels and event-related companies, which saw a remarkable uptick in business throughout the 10 days leading up to the game. Other local businesses, from staffing agencies to construction companies, also saw record business at a historically slow time of year.
In addition to, and perhaps more important than, a one-time infusion of business is the exposure to new, long-term clients that many small and independent service providers, artists and vendors experienced. For example, Creative Mind Studios, a photo and video production studio based in St. Paul, secured a number of bookings around events, parties and appearances related to the Super Bowl — and since the event it has generated numerous new clients and been retained for several new events and opportunities. To a person, the CEOs of our sponsor companies were pleased with how the Super Bowl showcased not only their brands, but the state where they choose to locate their companies’ headquarters.
The Super Bowl’s positive impact was felt beyond the business community, or even just the metro area. More than $5.5 million in charitable investments were made in our community in the year leading up to the game. Our 52 Weeks of Giving campaign traveled the state for the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII, providing grants ranging from $38,000 to $200,000 to local organizations helping kids and families live healthier lifestyles. As a result of Super Bowl LII, there are now bike fleets in Mankato, playing fields in Worthington, a new playground in International Falls and 49 other communities across our state where kids are seeing the benefits of the big game (read more about grants made to help young people in 52 Minnesota communities at www.mnsuperbowl.com/legacy).
With the support of our corporate sponsors, the Host Committee secured the funds to finance the cost of the entire event — the 10-day festival, the free concert series and to reimburse the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota and police jurisdictions across our state more than $7 million to cover the costs of hosting a clean, safe public event on Nicollet Mall. With these reimbursements, and because the report does not include resident spending, all the tax dollars flowing from this event are new dollars for state and local government.
When the spotlight was on us, the Bold North shone brightly. As a result of our warm hospitality — thanks to 10,000 extraordinary Crew 52 volunteers — and our safe, fun events, 83 percent of the first-time visitors to Minnesota said they plan to return. Meet Minneapolis reports a 30 percent increase in meeting and convention inquiries and an 11 percent increase in hotel bookings since the game.
Super Bowl LII was indeed one for the history books. Minnesotans should feel proud not only of their role in making the many economic benefits possible for our state, but of showing the world that the Bold North can throw one heck of a party.
Doug Baker, chair and CEO of Ecolab; Richard Davis, executive chair of U.S. Bank, and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former chair and CEO of Carlson Companies, are co-chairs of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Commitee.