Minn. Super Bowl bid: 6 things to know before Tuesday

The new stadium in downtown Minneapolis set up for a Vikings game. Courtesy of HKS Architects
  1. Listen Reporter Tim Nelson talks with MPR News’ Tom Crann

Minnesota will make its case on Tuesday to host the 2018 Super Bowl. NFL team owners are meeting in Atlanta this week to select a site for the game and the Vikings hope their new stadium will be a deciding factor.

Here are  six key questions and answers about the bid and what happens Tuesday.

1. Why 2018?

It’s the first Super Bowl made available since construction got started on the new Vikings stadium. The NFL has already said Phoenix, San Francisco and Houston will host for the next three years. So the 2018 game is the first one available.

2. What are the prospects for Minnesota?

The Vikings and the NFL all but guaranteed the new stadium would eventually host an NFL championship. It was one of the reasons they said state and local taxpayers should subsidize the $1 billion building.

But the NFL didn’t commit to when they would have a Super Bowl here, so that’s an unknown.

3. What’s the competition?

The NFL named Indianapolis and New Orleans as finalists, along with Minnesota, last October.

The New Orleans Superdome has hosted the Superbowl seven times now, and that was after three previous Super Bowls at Tulane Stadium. The most recent was in 2013, with that infamous blackout. Indianapolis hosted the game in its new Lucas Oil Stadium in 2012.

You’d think that would give Minnesota a leg up, but the NFL operates on its own logic.

The site selection requires a supermajority vote by the owners of the 32 teams, and they don’t have to explain or justify their decision to anybody. New Orleans, for instance, will be celebrating the tricentennial of the city in 2018 and will be pressing its case for the NFL to join the celebration.

Indianapolis is also well known in NFL circles for the financial incentives that the city offered to win the game in 2012. They started the Super Bowl Village that’s basically a trade show for the League and is now a requirement for all host cities.

Privately, boosters say there may be some concern in the NFL that the new Vikings stadium isn’t further along before the league commits to playing there.

There’s another hurdle, too: Host cities typically don’t get picked without being runner-up at least once. So Minneapolis could be the bridesmaid this year.

4.What is Minnesota offering?

The state already has a tax exemption for ticket sales left over from the 1992 Super Bowl in the Metrodome. State officials have estimated that at about a $9 million tax break.

Other than that, we don’t really know. Backers are keeping their bid secret, in part because they don’t want the other cities to one-up them in Georgia this week.

U.S. Bank Chairman Richard Davis, one of the three co-chairs of the Super Bowl host committee,  said earlier this month that the Twin Cities would need between $30 million and $40 million to make a serious bid and that most of that money has been pledged — contingent on the selection of Minneapolis, of course.

If the city’s bid isn’t successful, boosters may come back to Minnesota to rework the plan to submit it again in a few months. The NFL technically asked for bids for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 Super Bowl, so they may be contending with other host cities again before the football season begins in September.

5. What’s the Super Bowl worth to the Twin Cities?

There’s a lot of controversy about that. At one point, Gov. Mark Dayton said it would have a $500 million impact. The host committee put it at $350 million earlier this month, although academics who have studied this put the figure at between $30 million and $120 million net impact.

6. What’s going to happen Tuesday?

The bidding cities will each have a chance to make a behind-closed-doors presentation to the voting owners (Minnesota goes first), and then they’ll take a vote, or a series of votes, to get to 24 and pick a winning city.

The decision will be broadcast on the NFL Network, so by this time tomorrow, we ought to know where the game will be on Feb. 4, 2018.

Here’s the curtain raiser on the new logo for Minnesota’s bid for the 2018 Super Bowl, being unveiled this week in Atlanta.