Corporate Leaders Pitch Mpls. Super Bowl Bid

Minneapolis is competing with Indianapolis and New Orleans for the NFL's 2018 title game.

Minnesota has never been a top tourist destination in the dead of winter.

But the corporate leaders who head the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee are trying to quarterback an effort to land the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The new $975 million stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, now under construction at the eastern edge of downtown Minneapolis, is set to open in the fall of 2016.

The Minneapolis bid is competing with Indianapolis and New Orleans to land the 2018 game. NFL owners are slated to vote on the location of the 2018 Super Bowl on May 20. Minnesota’s strategic offense for the Bowl bid game included delivering tablets with the pitch for Minnesota to all 32 NFL owners.

“We have a great story to tell about the state of Minnesota,” Richard Davis, CEO of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp and bid committee co-chair, said in a Wednesday statement. “Today we delivered that story to all 32 NFL owners and made our best case for bringing Super Bowl LII to our region in 2018. We appreciate the energy and effort that has gone into this process from our community and business leaders to ensure that we submitted an extremely comprehensive and competitive bid.”

On Wednesday morning, Davis told reporters that the local companies had already pledged 75 percent of the private fundraising goal of $30 million to $40 million to help pay costs related to hosting the Super Bowl.

Among the offerings highlighted in the bid are:

• More than 180 hotels with more than 19,000 rooms across the metro

• 48 venues available for events during Super Bowl Week

• An integrated transit system, including light-rail

The pitch is touting Minnesota's winter season as an asset, rather than a liability, calling for “integration of winter festivities into a branded celebration with a Super Bowl twist in 2018, including a flagship event at the St. Paul Winter Carnival.”

Ecolab CEO Doug Baker and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former CEO of Carlson Companies, are bid committee co-chairs with Davis. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton tapped the three to lead the effort.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which has now been demolished, hosted the 1992 Super Bowl. This summer, Target Field will host Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on July 15.