Dayton: NFL perks ‘way overboard’ but necessary

A rendering of downtown Minneapolis during the 2018 Super Bowl. Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings

Gov. Mark Dayton says the perks the NFL is seeking from Minnesota in exchange for Minneapolis hosting the Super Bowl in 2018 are “way overboard” but necessary to convince the NFL to bring the game to Minneapolis.

The Star Tribune reported that the NFL has requested several benefits including free police escorts for players and owners, billboards, courtesy cars and high-end hotel rooms in exchange for giving Minneapolis the big game. Dayton says he’s been assured that no public money will be used to provide the benefits.

“I don’t think anybody needs free bowling alleys. Anybody who can afford to come to the Super Bowl can afford to pay for their shoes and bowling ball and lane time,” Dayton said. “But again, the perfect is the enemy of the very good and this is a very good deal for Minnesota. It’s going to bring enormous net gain in revenues both to the state and the city.”

Dayton has been one of the biggest backers of building the new Vikings stadium and held a news conference with business leaders after the NFL awarded Minneapolis the 2018 game. He told reporters today that he isn’t sure which perks the private host committee has agreed to.

He also says he had no problems with making the host committee bid available to the public but stopped short of saying he would push for a change in the law that keeps the information private until after the Super Bowl.

The Minneapolis host committee has not released its bid because it says it doesn’t have to until the game is over.