The city of New Orleans was just on a week-long national stage as it hosted Super Bowl XLVII, providing the proud residents of the city and of Louisiana an opportunity to showcase their unique culture, comforting and entertaining hospitality and lively and contagious spirit.
With a new $975 million stadium in the works, Minneapolis, in conjunction with the Vikings, is looking to capitalize on a similar opportunity by pursuing a Super Bowl, among other major events.
“We are aggressively pursuing the 2018 Super Bowl for Minneapolis,” said Vikings VP of Public Affairs and Stadium Development. “There is significant competition for this event, but with the new stadium opening in 2016, Minnesota is well-positioned as an attractive destination. We need to better understand the scope of the current-day Super Bowl and its associated events to determine what’s necessary to accommodate the additional 100,000 visitors outside of the 73,000 fans who attend the actual game.”
As part of the effort to better understand what it takes to host the ultimate event within the most popular sport on the America sports landscape, the Vikings invited Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant to attend the 2013 game and meetings in New Orleans with the NFL and other bidding cities, including San Francisco, Phoenix, Houston and New Orleans. This effort is expected for cities to compete for one of the largest marketing opportunities in the world, with millions of eyes fixed on the host city each year.
An announcement of the winning bids is expected by May 2014. The 2014 Super Bowl will be an outdoor game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, will host in 2015.
“I was honored that the Vikings asked me to attend the meetings and game in New Orleans,” said Tennant. “But more importantly, I was given the opportunity to learn about the event first-hand from the NFL, the other bidding cities and the example set forth in New Orleans. The experience and time was invaluable as we work diligently to bring a Super Bowl back to Minneapolis.”
The exploratory mission included briefings by the NFL officials for bidding cities, meetings with the CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and tours of the grounds and facilities that would be expected in any winning city.
Last year, Meet Minneapolis convened a group of leaders of business and the hospitality industry to form the Meet Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee, tasked with augmenting the work of the organization in the solicitation, funding and hosting of major sports and special events. This permanent group meets periodically and will help drive the destination to winning major events like the Super Bowl, the X Games, NCAA Final Four games and, eventually, possibly a Summer Olympics.
Rob Moor, Vice Chair of the Meet Minneapolis Board of Directors and CEO of the Minnesota Lynx and Timberwolves, chairs the Meet Minneapolis Local Organizing Committee.
“It’s time that Minneapolis is spotlighted on the national stage as a prime destination for major events,” said Moor. “Alongside the new Vikings Stadium, the coming Central Corridor light rail line, the renovation of Target Center and many more infrastructure investments, there has to be an investment in time, energy and funds in fully utilizing these improvements and bringing more visibility and, ultimately, visitors to Minneapolis. This group will lead that effort.”
Meet Minneapolis invested in travel costs for the trip to New Orleans. The investment of time, study and personnel now will pay off, as it has with countless other events, in the overall economic impact as visitors attend and spend money throughout the city. The Super Bowl alone would yield an expected economic impact of $350 million and put Minneapolis on the international stage, once more, as a destination of choice for major events.
ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.
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