Weather Forecast


Minn. Gov. Dayton helps celebrate victory over Big Easy

ST. PAUL — The Vikings were a step away from the Super Bowl in 2010 when they were knocked out in an overtime heartbreaker by the Saints. Now New Orleans is getting a little payback, Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday.

“This is a great response to that,” Dayton said at a celebratory news conference at the Capitol after Minnesota outlasted New Orleans through four rounds of secret balloting at the NFL owners meeting Tuesday in Atlanta to win the right to host the Super Bowl in 2018.

The Big Easy had never lost a Super Bowl bid attempt and on top of that was preparing to celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2018.

“For all of you to come in and take it away from them couldn’t be better,” Dayton said.

Vikings co-owner and President Mark Wilf joined Dayton at a Capitol news conference, along with bid committee co-chairs Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bank; Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab; and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, former chair and CEO of Carlson Cos., and others involved in securing Super Bowl LII.

The group now transitions from bid committee to host committee, Davis said.

“We want to take this from an idea to an execution,” he said.

The committee emphasized to the owners a variety of improvements being made to several community assets, many of which will be used as part of the Super Bowl activities, Davis said. These include renovation and expansion at the Mall of America, upgrades to practice fields and facilities for the teams to use and improvements to Nicollet Mall, which will serve as “Super Bowl Boulevard” during the event.

“No city had anywhere near what we have in terms of what’s about to happen in the city between now and the day of the game,” Davis said.

It’s still unclear what taxpayers will pay to bring the 52nd Super Bowl to town.

Carlson Nelson had originally said the bid proposal would be released publicly after the NFL owners’ vote Tuesday, but lawyers for Meet Minneapolis and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority later said the data was nonpublic and would not be released until after the 2018 Super Bowl is played.

A law on the books from the last time Minneapolis hosted a Super Bowl, in 1992, exempts tickets to the game from sales tax. That’s about $9 million in forgone revenue,

Dayton said, which is the largest public contribution of any option being considered.

The bid co-chairs have said they were assured by state leaders that the state would extend that sales tax exemption to include related events as well, but Dayton said there is no such agreement as far as he knows.

He and the four top legislative leaders sent a letter to the bid committee promising general support but not offering specifics, Dayton said. As for exempting events from sales tax, “the four leaders have not signed off on that to my knowledge,” he said.

He also said he couldn’t give an estimate of what the state would give up in revenue by exempting the events from tax, in part because it’s not clear what events would be included or what they would cost.

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said state leaders made it clear they didn’t want to exempt NFL personnel from income tax. That piece will be funded out of the $30 million to $40 million being raised privately to put on the Super Bowl, and event co-chairs have said they’ll ensure there’ll be a net positive for the public in terms of tax revenue.

Out-of-town visitors won’t be exempted from lodging taxes, Kelm-Helgen said, but there could be a break for NFL personnel.

Estimates of economic benefit to communities that host big events like the Super Bowl vary and are hotly contested.

Dayton has estimated a $500 million boost to the state economy, and bid organizers have pegged the total economic benefit at about $350 million.

Victor Matheson, a sports economist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., has estimated the average impact on cities of “mega-sporting events” at $30 million to $120 million.

Kelm-Helgen said no economic analysis was done after the 1992 game in Minneapolis, so there’s no local example to draw from.

In Indianapolis, which local officials have been using as a touchstone for Minneapolis in terms of stadium design and Super Bowl hosting, a study by Rockport Analytics found a $278 million “net incremental contribution” to the metro area GDP from hosting the 2012 Super Bowl. That metric, which is often used as the measure of economic impact, subtracts whatever impact typical tourism would have generated during that time.

The net contribution to state and local tax receipts in Indiana, again including an offset for displaced tourism, was $40 million.

The Super Bowl is expected to draw 100,000 visitors to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and more than 100 million are estimated to watch the game on TV.

Kelm-Helgen said the Vikings won’t see any of the Super Bowl revenue.

It all comes to the authority, she said, and some will then go to the NFL. She said that when costs are factored in, it’s not expected to be a major moneymaker for the authority.

Roughly 7,000 seats will be added to the 65,000-seat stadium for the Super Bowl. They won’t be placed in one area, Kelm-Helgen said, but will be sprinkled throughout the seating areas. Fans who own suites or who hold season tickets for particular seats will not have rights to them during the Super Bowl, she said.

Davis said organizers raised $30 million of the private funds in about a week and haven’t even approached half the companies yet.

In addition to covering any shortfall from public tax breaks, the private money will pay for things like snow removal, building special tents and warming areas and security, Davis said. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has said she doesn’t expect taxpayers to foot the bill for any increased costs in that city.

Right next to the stadium will be a huge tent for parties and events, Davis said. “Effectively instead of having a convention center right up next to the stadium, we’ll create our own.”

The new $976.2 million Vikings stadium is scheduled to open in 2016 on the site formerly occupied by the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis.

The Vikings are putting up $478.2 million for construction, to go with $348 million from the state and $150 million from the city of Minneapolis.