In a small corner office down the hall from U.S. Bank’s mail room, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is cranking up preparations for the big game coming to Minneapolis in February 2018.
Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch was at work this week and sporting a scarf of purple, no less — the predominant color in the office and a show of support for the home team.
“It’s working,” Bausch said of the workplace enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings. “We truly think we’re giving them good vibes.”
The peppy Bausch, who directs a staff of five and three unpaid interns, is putting together the massive effort that will be Super Bowl LII at the new home of the Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, the west facade of which is visible from her office.
“We’re going to have a lot of people coming through here,” she said of the office.
Amid the preponderance of purple, the office theme is obviously football as evidenced by the books on a table and the nonstop NFL Network broadcast on the reception area’s flat-screen TV.
Little more than a dozen feet from Bausch’s office, large Plexiglas pictures of the new stadium and two purple couches greet visitors. There’s no receptionist yet, but there’s an image of the Bold North Super Bowl icon above the desk where one would sit.
For the holidays, there were purple poinsettias and a purple menorah. Now they’re back to purple hydrangeas as well as a palm tree Bausch brought in from her basement at home (she’s accepting furniture donations for the space). The plants are fake, as is the green turf-style rug upon which the purple couches sit.
Bausch wasn’t fond of the purple shag rug initially placed in the reception area, so Chief Operating Officer Dave Haselman moved it into his office, where it shall remain.
Bausch, who initially worked out of her car, hired the staff over the summer and has been brainstorming ideas. The office has been occupied for a few months now, but the setup remains in the organizing stages and some days are still quiet.
It will gradually get busier and more crowded in the coming year, as plans are solidified and the run-up to the big game begins. Bausch said she’s already been busier than she expected at this point.
She and others have traveled to San Francisco, which is playing host to the 2016 game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. She said that she saw how the host committee there turned the Super Bowl into an opportunity for months of volunteering in the community for charitable efforts, such as meals and book drives for children.
“If we can do that, then people understand the value of these events to the market,” she said.
She’s also coveting — she mentioned it more than once — a couple of items she saw in those California offices: a Lego replica of the Lombardi Trophy, and green turf rugs that are deeper and plusher than the one in her reception area.
The San Francisco rugs had hash marks like those on an NFL field. She’s trying to find out where to buy some for her office.
“Maybe they can ship them to us when they’re done,” she said.