The Twin Cities and surrounding area are no stranger to hosting big events.
“We hosted the Ryder Cup in 2016 and we’ve hosted the Republican National Convention, so huge world class events are not new to us but every new event brings a new wrinkle, and just to see athletes and media personalities out walking around, there is just a level that the Super Bowl brings that we haven’t experienced in a long time,” says Adam Johnson, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Media Relations for Visit St. Paul.
Visit Minneapolis has worked on the Super Bowl planning since 2013, before the bid was official. There is a lot that goes into planning a Super Bowl, from getting adequate hotel space to mapping out where each event will take place.
Kristen Montag, Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications for Meet Minneapolis, says it’s been a statewide effort, especially with the Metro region including St. Paul, Bloomington and the Mall of America.
“It’s really important that we all work together,” says Montag, “and with something of this size, our metro region isn’t as large as Houston’s even if you put all of us together, so it really does take the whole region for something like this to happen.”
“From day one we’ve considered it the Minnesota Super Bowl. Unlike the previous ones, it’s no knock on them, the Houston Super Bowl, the San Francisco Super Bowl, this is the Minnesota Super Bowl, statewide,” says Johnson, “Minneapolis, St Paul, Bloomington got the majority of the big events, but you will feel the ripples of this event as far north as Deluth down to Rochester. The entire state has come together to show that Minnesota pride.”
The number of man hours and amount of effort put into planning the week-long festivities isn’t something they can put into a specific number, but they say seeing the enjoyment from those who are visiting the area makes it all worth it.
“Kind of have to stop and pinch yourself and say ‘I’m really working on a Super Bowl’ and this might not happen again in my career. It’s a really great opportunity for me and everyone on our team. We really are just trying to take all the work that’s put into it, you know, we aren’t getting a lot of rest. We aren’t getting a lot of other things done right now, but it’s a chance to embrace this thing that’s happening. It’s history for our city so it’s really important and it’s a lot of fun.” adds Montag.