Much has changed in the Twin Cit- ies since 1992, the last time the NFL ventured to Minnesota for a Super Bowl.
But one thing remains the same: cold
winters. Super Bowl LII, scheduled for
February 4, will be only the sixth to be
played in a cold-weather city, and the
event will embrace the chill.
“We know that it’s going to be cold,” said Matthew Sha-
piro, NFL director of event strategy and integration. “We
know it’s going to be different in a lot of ways than some of
the traditional Super Bowl cities that people come to think
of. But we’re excited about that.”
The locals echo that sentiment.
“We are very excited about bring-
ing people to the Bold North,” said
Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Min-
nesota Super Bowl Host Commit-
tee. “We really are not hiding from
winter.” What’s perfect weather for
late January and early February in
the Twin Cities? Laughing, Bausch
said, “We want a perfect 30 degrees
with a light snow.”
In 1992, when Super Bowl XXVI
was held, there was no Xcel Energy
Center in St. Paul, and the NHL’s
Minnesota Wild did not yet exist.
The Minnesota North Stars, who
played their home games in near-
by Bloomington, would move to
Dallas a year later. The region also
didn’t have the light-rail system
that now links Minneapolis, St.
Paul and Bloomington—and that
will carry fans to the more than
100 venues hosting events leading
up to Super Bowl LII.
The Super Bowl has always been a
Minnesota Super Bowl, rallying the
whole state rather than just one city,
Shapiro said. “Incorporating a city like
St. Paul, as well as Bloomington, which
will be the host of the media center
and where the teams will stay, is vitally
important to us,” he said.
Perhaps the biggest change from
1992 will be the stadium itself. With
the Metrodome gone, the game will
be played at U.S. Bank Stadium,
In addition to the game, downtown activities will feature
the NFL Experience at the Minneapolis Convention Center
and Super Bowl Live, a series of free outdoor concerts and
events at recently renovated Nicollet Mall, an outdoor shopping and dining district. The NFL Experience, which requires
tickets ($35 for adults, $25 for kids), will be open January 27–
29 and January 31–February 3 and will feature interactive exhibits, youth football clinics, autograph sessions and artifacts
on display from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
At Super Bowl Live, among the concerts planned is a tribute
to Minnesota native Prince featuring The Revolution, Sheila
E. and Morris Day and the Time. The area will also feature
an ice skating rink, a 750-foot zip line across the Mississippi
River, a 360-degree IMAX-style dome offering a “Super Bowl
movie experience” and enormous ice sculptures.
And anyone daring enough can participate in the January
30 polar plunge, which will be set up at a temporary pond
built on the Nicollet Mall. The event is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Minnesota, and there are 200 available spots for
anyone who raises at least $150.
Across the Mississippi River, the St. Paul Winter Carnival—
featuring a giant snow slide and other attractions—has been
extended to coincide with Super Bowl activities.
More than 1 million people are expected to attend the full
range of Super Bowl activities over the 10-day period.
NFL Plans an Event Bold and Cold
By Greg Echlin
“We are very
We really are