Our Opinion: Super Bowl LII bid took the right approachPublished 9:43am Friday, May 23, 2014
Leaders in the Twin Cities and with the Minnesota Vikings deserve applause for their presentation before NFL officials in Atlanta asking to host Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis.
They beat out New Orleans — a city celebrating a 300-year anniversary in 2018 and a city that never has failed to garner a Super Bowl bid — and they beat out Indianapolis — a place of skywalks and tunnels where people never have to go outside to enjoy the Super Bowl amenities.
We read news about the Twin Cities presentation and watched the video clip, too. Here is what we like about how the officials approached the bid:
• They didn’t shy away from Minnesota being cold in February.
Yes, we know our state is bitter cold in the depth of winter, but we aren’t a state of whiners. We grow tired of getting second-class treatment because, surprise, it is cold in winter. The fact is, Minnesota has four rather beautiful seasons. Winter is one of them. Embrace it or move.
They embraced it, and offered up concepts of the outside the stadium area showing skating rinks, snowmobile tracks and snowboard halfpipes. Besides, mentally speaking, winter doesn’t feel so awful by early February. It is when snowstorms arrive in March, April and even May that the season earns serious complaints.
• They touted Minnesota as home to several Fortune 500 companies.
Many are home-grown. Some have moved here. Either way, they are here because it is a great place to live, the quality of life is high, schools provide a good education, the workforce is talented, the state is a leader in health care, the crime rate is low in comparison to states of similar demographics, pragmatism is common, nature is nearby, arts and entertainment are valued, the list goes on.
From Cargill to U.S. Bancorp to Carlson Companies, big business in Minnesota showed it wants the big game in our big state.
• They touted how bold and distinct the new Minnesota Vikings stadium will be.
With $489 million in public funds paying for the part of the construction of the $975 million stadium, the NFL sure had better give the Super Bowl to Minneapolis. The public deserves a return on the investment, and the exposure and tourism revenue from the Super Bowl is a good start.
That said, the plans for the new stadium do look like they will make for an outstanding NFL experience, from the transparent roof to seats and luxury suites near the field to the 800 flatscreen TV sets to the large gathering spaces and wide concourses to the Vikings’ team store finally being at the place where they play football. The stadium, indeed, was the star of that presentation.