When the Super Bowl last came to Minnesota in 1992, the host committee entertained the press corps with a uniquely Minnesotan activity.
“Media from 1992 all talks about going snowmobiling on Lake Minnetonka,” said Andrea Mokros, vice president of communications for the 2018 Super Bowl host committee. “Folks probably haven’t done things like that.”
Mokros laid out the committee’s vision for the 10 days leading up to the 2018 game at U.S. Bank Stadium at a breakfast Feb. 26 hosted by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. She said the committee plans on highlighting the “Bold North” with plenty of outdoor activities, such as the St. Paul Winter Carnival and the Minneapolis Loppet.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to showcase the things that we’re proud of in Minnesota,” she said.
Mokros and other committee officials recently returned from a trip to this year’s Super Bowl in San Francisco. She said she was impressed with the event, noting how smoothly traffic was getting to the stadium, which is 40 miles outside the city.
Committee officials hope to emulate San Francisco by creating a free-to-the-public fan village downtown called Super Bowl Boulevard the week before the game. The San Francisco version was open nine days before the game and was immensely popula, Mokros said.
She said the Minnesota Super Bowl Boulevard will feature Polaris snowmobiles, winter snow activities and local bars and restaurants.
Super Bowl week will also NFL-run events, including an NFL experience, a radio row event, media night, the NFL honors event and the Taste of the NFL, not to mention the game itself.
Mokros said the committee will start its Super Bowl celebrations one year before the event. The committee will also work to build a local business directory and will be engaging in 52 communities around the state.
“This is an opportunity for all levels of businesses to engage,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but I know that we’re up to it.”
Mokros said the Super Bowl and events leading up to it will draw more than one million visitors to the Twin Cities and could generate more than $400 million in economic impact plus $500 in earned media value.
The committee will closely coordinate security with the Minneapolis Police Department and FBI, Mokros said. It will need at least 6,000 to 8,000 volunteers for the 10 days and many others to promote local businesses to visitors.
The committee is working on a contingency weather plan and alternative activities if there is no snow, Mokros said. She appeared optimistic, however, that the event would see ideal conditions.
“As our chairman Richard Davis said when we were in San Francisco, our dream is really 31 (degrees) and sunny for game day because we want to be able to showcase everything that Minnesota winter has to offer,” she said.
And as for the adult beverages, Mokros said she hadn’t heard a rumor that the stadium ran out of beer at the game in San Francisco.
“But I don’t think we’ll have that problem,” she said.