Minneapolis 1 of 3 finalists for 2018 Super Bowl - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Minneapolis 1 of 3 finalists for 2018 Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS (KARE/KTTC) - New Orleans and Indianapolis, the sites of the past two Super Bowls, and Minneapolis are the three finalists to host the NFL championship game in 2018.

"This is a significant first step in bringing the world's marquee sporting event to Minnesota," said Vikings Owner and President Mark Wilf. "With the outstanding hospitality community in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the opening of the new state-of-the-art stadium, this is a perfect fit. We look forward to working with state and local leaders to secure this major event in Minnesota."

Those three cities have been selected from a pool of six at the owners' meetings Tuesday.

Meet Minneapolis is the group that partnered with the Minneapolis Sports Facilities Authority to submit an application to host the Super Bowl.

The earliest date that the group was targeting was 2018. The NFL will make its announcement in May 2014.

"Now the hard work begins. We have to put together a bid compiling all the venues and different facets of the Super Bowl that will take place," said Leslie Wright, Senior Vice President of Destination Sales and Service for Meet Minneapolis.

Meet Minneapolis, along with other local and state officials, will work to complete a more than 100-page proposal for the NFL in the coming months.

"What really helps the bid is a new stadium," said Wright.

The last and only other time a Super Bowl came to Minnesota was in 1992 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

"As far as four or five day run, there wasn't anything like it," said Tim Mahoney, co-owner of the Loon Café near the Target Center.

He recalls his bar packed with celebrities like Donald Trump and Bill Murray from morning until night back in '92.

"It's funny, it's like the who's who that are here, but then it's the who's who of the who's who that are here too," he said.

And they're spending money, lots of it. A Super Bowl can bring to a city anywhere from $250 to $350 million.

If Minneapolis hosts another Super Bowl again there is one big change that can spread the economic benefits even farther throughout the Twin Cities than what happened more than 20 years ago.

"We've been dramatically reshaped by light rail. You can get to downtown to St. Paul, the university, Bloomington to downtown Minneapolis all very quickly," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Yet construction on that stadium has not even started yet. That's not a concern for Rybak.

"We get these things done on time and on budget and we will again," he said.

With the hopes Minneapolis will once again host a super Sunday.

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