The city of Minneapolis is gearing up to be the center of the American universe on Feb 4 when this cold, snowy city in the Upper Midwest hosts the NFL’s 52nd Super Bowl, Super Bowl LII.
The city is eager to show off its spanking new football stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, a gleaming glass giant built with $1 billion of private funds supplemented generously by Minnesota taxpayers.
What is thrilling the people of Minneapolis even more is the possibility that its home team, the Minnesota Vikings, stand a good chance of playing in the big game. It would be the first time ever that the home team of the Super Bowl host city contends for the NFL Championship. The Viking finished the season 13-3, the second-best record in the NFC.
The Vikings have made it to the Super Bowl four times. To the agony of Minnesotans, the Vikings lost all four times. This is a state desperate to win football’s highest honor, a Super Bowl trophy. If they do it at home, it would be historic.
Last year some 114 million American viewers tuned into Super Bowl LI. Tens of million more watch from locations all over the world. For the host city, it’s a public relations bonanza perhaps second only to hosting the Olympic games or soccer’s World Cup.
Minneapolis has been working hard to get ready for the tens of thousands of visitors who will travel to the North Star State. More than 10,000 Minnesota citizen volunteers have been recruited to fan out across the city to act as official “Welcome Ambassadors” and to help visitors find their way around the Twin Cities.
Those lucky enough to get a ticket to be inside U.S. Bank Stadium will pay dearly. The average price for a Super Bowl ticket this year is $3,200.