As you may have heard … at long, long last we are major league. Reaction to the NFL’s choice of … us … as the site of Super Bowl 52 … .
Ben Goessling at ESPN says, “Let’s be clear: Super Bowl LII is coming to Minneapolis, and not New Orleans, because of the Vikings’ new stadium … The league has made a loud declaration that communities who build new stadiums — doing so in most cases with large sums of taxpayer dollars — will get rewarded.” So another way to look at it is; we’re paying a half billion-plus for the right to host that one game.
For the PiPress, Brian Murphy says, “‘The stadium project, the effort they had to bring that stadium to completion, the plans they have for it and the commitment that community has demonstrated was a positive influence on several owners that I talked to,’ [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell said.” Not to mention his influence on all the legislators with whom he had his picture taken.
New Orleans lost the final ballot to Minnesota, avenging (a little) the 2009 NFC Championship Game. At the Times-Picayune, Larry Holden notes, “Since 2004, the eight teams with new stadiums that made a bid for the Super Bowl all were successful on the first try, including now Minneapolis.” In other words, you basically get a Super Bowl with a new stadium, but the NFL still makes you shake down government and corporate leaders. The comments are pretty ripe with Minnesota-bashing, if you want to chortle.
In the NFL’s primary local mouthpiece, Patrick Reusse contemplates the sweet, sweet economic return of The Biggest Game. “Whatever the reviews of the NFL’s return to Minneapolis, it probably will be futile to spend time peering out the front window, waiting for the stranger to bring your check. The NFL demands so much free stuff from the hosts now — free hotel rooms (suites, preferably), free this ‘n that, tax waivers, etc. – that the best we can hope for as Minnesota taxpayers will be the warmest personal regards of commissioner Roger Goodell.”
Colleague Eric Roper quotes exultant pols enthused about food-and-bev workers getting a one-week lift, but Jon Tevlin is a bit of a bummer: “ … if you are a local business owner, don’t spend your projected windfall just yet. … independent economists are nearly unanimous in saying that they don’t benefit as much as promised. … They said to expect one-tenth to one-fourth of whatever the NFL projects.”
And the mouthpiece of the mouthpiece exults, “Stadium critics — and there are many — will question the economic-impact projections tossed around between now and Super Bowl kickoff in 2018. We agree that boosters are often too quick to goose the numbers, but Super Bowls and Final Fours attract tens of thousands of out-of-state fans who spend money that would otherwise never cross our borders. The impact, as one Super Bowl booster put it to us, is not nothing.”
Also at ESPN, local resident Kevin Seifert writes, “This state, thundered Hubert H. Humphrey, would be nothing more than a ‘cold Omaha’ without its professional sports teams. Since then, taxpayers have doled out more than $1 billion in public funds to retain their Vikings and Twins, as well as to replace the departed Minneapolis Lakers and Minnesota North Stars. It was with that unique blend of insecurity and ambition that Minnesotans celebrated the NFL’s unexpected decision Tuesday … .”
At Deadspin, Minnesota native Drew Magary writes, “Since there is nothing that the NFL cannot turn into a terrible televised award ceremony, the NFL Network broadcast live footage of the Minnesota ‘war room’ celebrating Roger Goodell’s announcement. … Christ. There was probably a PA holding up an APPLAUSE sign off camera. Anyway, I hope that you too enjoyed the thrill of watching these brave corporate soldiers exult in victory from inside an antiseptic hotel conference room. I mean, that’s the whole reason I became a sports fan to begin with.”
Unrelated … I’m pretty sure. Amy Forliti of the AP says, “The Minnesota Security Hospital is being fined $1,000 and the conditional status of its license is being extended through late 2016 after investigators found the facility failed to provide necessary care and supervision to two mentally ill patients — and one of those men ultimately killed the other, officials announced Tuesday. Darnell Dee Whitefeather, 32, is charged with murder for allegedly stomping on the head of 41-year-old Michael Francis Douglas as many as 30 times on Jan. 22 … .”