As I noted in an update to yesterday’s post on Bud Grant’s 87th birthday, the NFL has awarded the hosting rights for Super Bowl LII in 2018 to the Minnesota Vikings.
Pretty clearly, the winning edge during the bid process was the attraction of having a brand new stadium in which to hold the event, which is why even the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans came in second in the bidding. (That, plus the fact that New Orleans has already hosted the Super Bowl ten times…)
At 1500ESPN.com, Judd Zulgad talks about the winning bid:
Depending on whom you listen to, the NFL’s decision to award 2018 Super Bowl to the Twin Cities on Tuesday is either going to bring great financial gain or it’s going to be a nuisance that’s not worth the time and money that will be spent to host the game.
Making the argument either way is easy.
It’s no different than the spin that was put on building the Xcel Energy Center, Target Field or the new Vikings stadium.
The pro-stadium folks point to the benefits of the venues, and the fact they either attract a team or keep one in town, and the anti-stadium groups rail on the amount of public money that is invested in building a playground for billionaire owners and millionaire athletes.
But what can’t be argued is this: Hosting events such as the Super Bowl, or this summer’s All-Star Game, are what make a city, and state, big league in the public eye.
Patrick Reusse, my colleague at 1500 ESPN and a longtime Star Tribune sports columnist, did a blog for the paper in 2013 that attempted to trace the use of the phrase, “a cold Omaha.”
Reusse wrote that Hubert Humphrey was credited with having said the Twin Cities would become “a cold Omaha” without the presence of major league sports. This dated to 1976, as the back-and-forth was picking up about the Vikings and Twins needing a new home to replace Metropolitan Stadium.
That new stadium, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, would open in 1982 and host numerous big events, including the 1992 Super Bowl, before meeting its demise this year.
As a Vikings fan, I’m delighted that the team’s new facility will be front-and-centre during the 2018 Super Bowl media blitz (although the non-football-fans among the taxpayers of Minnesota may be less than happy with how some of their tax dollars have been used to build a sports complex for billionaires to be used by millionaires). The optimists in Minneapolis may hope that 2018 will be the first time ever that the Super Bowl champions can be crowned in their own stadium, but that’s unlikely (not impossible, but it hasn’t happened yet).
Update: Speaking of optimists, here’s The Daily Norseman‘s Ted Glover, right on schedule.
After 40 plus years of pessimism and waiting for the other shoe to drop, it’s time to get positive about this team, the new coaching staff, the new stadium, Teddy Bridgewater, and hosting a Super Bowl. Why?
The stadium was dead in the water. Better luck next time, Minnesota. Maybe next year. Then not only wasn’t it dead, it passed in record time for a bill moving through the legislature.
The Vikings blew their chance to get a potential franchise quarterback in the draft, after they had an opportunity to get one early on. Better luck next time, Minnesota, maybe next year. Then Teddy Bridgewater fell in to their laps.
New Orleans was going to get that Super Bowl bid. Better luck next time, Minnesota. Maybe next year. Then they won. And oh yeah…FUCK THOSE GUYS.
Franchise changing moment, turning the corner, things looking up — use whatever phrase you want. I am of the belief that the events of the last couple of seasons (new stadium, new coach, last few drafts) are milestones in the history of this franchise, and twenty years from now, when we look back on it, we’ll look at these events and say:
“Here. It all started right here.”