Minneapolis Builds Around 2018 Super Bowl

Minneapolis Super Bowl
When Minneapolis hosts the Super Bowl, it will show off more than U.S Bank Stadium. The Vikings’ new home is at the center of an expansive $2 billion development boom known as the Minneapolis Big Build. The infrastructure- and amenity-rich collection of major projects transforming the city includes five new hotel properties in the downtown area; a redesign of downtown’s signature pedestrian-friendly main street, Nicollet; and a burgeoning retail and arts district along downtown’s Mississippi riverfront. If all goes according to plan, Minneapolis will put itself in a position to host many more events after the Super Bowl spotlight shines on it. That begins with the football stadium. “No offense to the Metrodome; it was no longer the shiny new penny,” says Scott M. Romane, executive director of Sports Minneapolis, referring to the old football stadium, host of the 1992 Super Bowl. “The new stadium puts us back on the list to be considered for the Super Bowl and [2019] Final Four.” Before the big game, Minneapolis hosts 48,000 attendees for the 2017 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championship in June and 35,700 attendees for the X Games in July. Athletes will see downtown Minneapolis has added nearly 1,000 rooms since last fall with five new hotels coming online. The area now has 33 hotels with more than 50 rooms each and 8,407 total rooms available. “Planners and attendees won’t recognize [Minneapolis] if they haven’t been here in several years,” says Melvin Tennant, CAE, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis. “Our city is brand-new.” Romane says an undercurrent of all the work is a chance to change perceptions. “We have the opportunity to position Minneapolis as a year-round destination,” he says. “Regardless of when you come, there are going to be exciting things to do.” Likewise, if your event is not big enough for the NFL stadium, Minneapolis has several other venues worth considering. TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus opened in 2009, followed a year later by Target Field (home of the Twins). Target Center is undergoing a $135 million renovation meant to make it competitive to host an NBA or WNBA All-Star Game. Minneapolis Convention Center is available for industry events like this year’s National Sports Forum, as well as indoor competitions like dancing and fencing. The city missed out on a bid to host the 2020 College Football Playoff, admits Romane. But with the development spurred by U.S. Bank Stadium, don’t expect many future events to say no to Minneapolis after the Super Bowl. “The media-exposure opportunities are incredible,” says Romane. “I think that’s what drives us to pursue these events. It allows us to tell our story.”