The amazing thing about the first Super Bowl held in Minneapolis back in 1992 was the number of media people who, after visiting here for the big game, started to take regular vacations to the Twin Cities area.
Look for the same thing to happen after the game is held here in February, when Minneapolis will be put on the biggest television stage that the world has.
The exposure is unbelievable as more than 5,000 media members will be here and the Minneapolis dateline will be in papers all over the country and the world.
It is probably the one event that gives more exposure to a city than a Final Four, Stanley Cup Final, NBA Finals or World Series.
In 2016, the Super Bowl was by far the most-viewed television event in the country, with more than 111 million people tuning in. The next-closest event was the Super Bowl postgame show, with 70 million viewers.
Rest assured that the Wilf family, owners of the Vikings, are determined to make this event maybe the best Super Bowl ever held.
Another thing that the event will do for this area is showcase U.S. Bank Stadium, and bring even more events to this city had the big show not been staged here.
NFL in control
Lester Bagley, the Vikings executive vice president, said that while Minneapolis will be the host city for the Super Bowl and the 10 days’ worth of events leading up to the game, make no mistake that this is an NFL production — not a Vikings production.
“There are several hundred folks that come here for a couple of months, workers that come in to get the stadium and the venue and event set up,” Bagley said. “The NFL events office, which is [NFL Senior Vice President] Peter O’Reilly, who runs the Super Bowl, that crew will set up an office very close to the stadium. Right across the street from the stadium they’ll have a formal office in our office building. They’ll have four or five floors. It’s quite the production and quite the enterprise. They’re working on securing that right now.
“A lot of work [will be] going on in the stadium with adding seats and maximizing the space. And there are the events and the logistics and the traffic and working with the local law enforcement.”
Most of the major public events will take place on Nicollet Mall, Bagley said, with “Super Bowl Live” being the epicenter of the Super Bowl week.
“We’re going to put on a great show and introduce the world to Bold North and have some indoor/outdoor actives being scheduled, as well,” he said. “It’s a significant economic impact to have a Super Bowl here, $400 million-plus. It’s going to be hectic with a lot of people in the market but a pretty good time of the year to have 100,000 people come into the market. February is not typically a great time for tourists, as you know.”
Meanwhile, the Mall of America probably will break every record they’ve had for sales, because the mall is going to be the host site for media day events and press conferences for the Super Bowl.
Tickets will be tough
While it is well-known that Super Bowl tickets are some of the most expensive in the world, Bagley said that the prices won’t be set for awhile. The halftime performer also won’t be named until later this fall.
When it comes to Vikings season ticket holders, Bagley said there is one way that they’ll have a much better chance to get seats at the game.
“In terms of Vikings season tickets, the only opportunity Vikings season ticket holders have is if the Vikings are in the Super Bowl — and let’s hope that’s the case — then there will be a program we’ll undertake,” he said. “But again, the NFL takes all the tickets, and distributes them and we’re working with them on a lottery program that we’ll hopefully announce in the next couple of months about how that will work.”
Sid Hartman can be heard on WCCO AM-830 at 8:40 a.m. Monday and Friday, 2 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org