(KMSP) - In two years the Twin Cities will host Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium, and preparations are already underway. The host committee is back from the most recent Super Bowl played last week in California.
The game will be played inside the climate-controlled stadium, but the committee is unashamed of the cold weather. Everything people love about Minnesota winters is actually being heavily promoted.
“Everything from ice bars, to getting people on skis, and skates,” Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee spokesperson Andrea Mokros said.
Mokros said they're responsible for pretty much everything happening outside of U.S. Bank Stadium, including a 10-day festival leading up to the game. But it won't just be Minneapolis front and center. St. Paul's Winter Carnival and the Mall of America will play big roles.
The goal is to show off the Twin Cities metro to the watching world -- “Many people outside of Minnesota don't know we are the home of Prince,” Mokros said. But there’s been no word yet on Prince’s role, if any.
Organizers estimate the Super Bowl will draw in more than a million visitors and close to half a billion dollars to the area. Day Block Brewery is one of the many businesses likely to benefit. General Manager Joe Williams said they're expanding rooms and the rooftop. And the NFL is noticing.
“Because we're so close, they have a lot of people coming into town, and we can accommodate pretty much whatever they need,” Williams said.
Along with all the preparations for fun, there’s going to be beefed up security. A law enforcement contingent from Minneapolis also attended Super Bowl 50 to watch and study.
Mokros says they learned a lot from the California visit, and were especially impressed with the use of virtual reality technology along with mobile apps to enhance the fan experience, and the emphasis on ride hailing services to get people around.
With hotels in the metro expected to be booked, they're encouraging people to use room rental website Airbnb for extra accommodations.
But before its Minnesota’s turn, next year's Super Bowl will be in Houston, Texas. The host committee will be at that one as well. As for progress on the stadium construction, it is now 90-percent complete and expected to open this summer.