In just over two months the eyes of the world will focus on Minnesota as we host one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, the Super Bowl. We are confident in our state’s ability to welcome the world to the Bold North and create a memorable, world-class event.
Minnesota’s opportunity to host Super Bowl LII is about so much more than a football game. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the Bold North to shine, and all of Minnesota is benefiting from the exposure, the investment in a statewide legacy and the positive economic impact — along with memories for a lifetime.
Super Bowl events are not just for gamegoers. They are for residents and visitors alike. We are hosting a 10-day festival, including our free and open-to-the-public Super Bowl LIVE presented by Verizon. For 10 nights, we will light up Nicollet Mall with world-class concerts, activities, food, fun — and, of course, football. Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington will be alive with activities, many of which are free or low-cost, welcoming fans and families alike to be part of the Super Bowl fun.
Few worldwide events garner the remarkable attention the Super Bowl does. More than 5,000 international media members will spend up to a week in Minnesota leading up to the game; hundreds of hours of programming will be aired, countless stories will be published and more than 100 million viewers worldwide will watch the game live from Minnesota. Additionally, more than 1 million people will visit the metro area over the course of the 10-day festival.
This incredible exposure is an opportunity to show the world Minnesota’s unique story of innovation, bold communities, the success of our businesses and the warmth of our citizens.
Hosting Super Bowl LII will benefit Minnesota for years to come: It will help recruit talented professionals to this market and lead to growth in tourism and convention business. Indianapolis, where the 2012 Super Bowl was held, experienced a 20 percent increase in conference business following its duties as host.
But we won’t have to wait years to see the impact. An economic study determined the Super Bowl will bring more than $400 million in economic impact to our region. That includes money spent at local restaurants, hotels and retail shops; on transportation, and for vendors hired to host and produce events and broadcasts across the metro area and beyond.
What’s more, hosting the game will leave a lasting legacy and extend the benefits to every corner of our state. The Legacy Fund’s 52 Weeks of Giving campaign is aimed at helping Minnesota kids lead healthier, more active lives and will result in more than $5 million invested in our communities by gameday, including capital grants to 52 community organizations and Super School Breakfast grants to dozens of schools across the state. Nearly 80 percent of our grants are helping organizations serving children in poverty; 70 percent serve kids of color.
We’re able to do this because of the generous support from our statewide business community. These partners recognize the value in investing in our region and state’s future and provided the necessary funding to support our 10-day festival and many operations around the game. Our Host Committee is a nonprofit; unlike committees in past host cities, we didn’t receive significant financial support from the state. In fact, other than limited tax exemptions and rebates, our budget is funded entirely by our partners. In addition to funding events for the community such as Super Bowl LIVE, we have agreements in place to reimburse others, such as the city of Minneapolis, for costs they will incur to support the event.
And it’s not just our business community that’s stepped forward to support this effort. More than 30,000 people raised their hands to be part of the Crew 52 volunteer force that will warmly welcome visitors to our bold state. Minnesotans are excited to be involved and to showcase our community. They want to help share the Bold North story and show the world what we already know: Minnesota is a special place and more than capable of hosting world-class events.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former chair and CEO, Carlson Companies; Doug Baker, chair and CEO, Ecolab; and Richard Davis, executive chair, US Bank, are co-chairs of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Commitee.