Planning to attend the 2018 Super Bowl? Forget about sipping on a Hurricane cocktail at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans. Forget about a week of partying in the sun and enjoying live jazz music on Bourbon Street. Instead, get used to the thought of frigid temperatures and snow in the bitterly cold city of Minneapolis. Four years from now, with a date tentatively scheduled for Feb. 4, 2018, “The Big Game” is coming to Minnesota, not to The Big Easy.
Let’s face it: this is a really bad idea. Sure the Vikings’ new $1 billion stadium, which opens in 2016, has a closed off roof to keep fans out of the brutal cold, but the overall Super Bowl experience includes much more than the game itself.
Super Bowls historically take place in warm weather environments such as Miami, New Orleans, San Diego and Arizona because most fans make the trip as part of a lengthy vacation. The average NFL fan attending a Super Bowl event wants to enjoy a day on the beach, sip on some adult beverages in the sunshine and hit the town for some fine dining in warm weather in the days leading up to the game. Most fans attend the game only after hanging out for a few days in the host city.
Not many NFL fans fly in for the Super Bowl on the actual day of the game. Most folks come several days prior, in order to soak in the sights and sounds of the host city. Typically, fans want to check out the host city’s nightlife, entertainment and restaurant scenes before heading to the game. Additionally, each Super Bowl has a media day and fan fest. Is it really a good idea asking fans and media members to come to a city in February that has average temperatures in the low-teens? Absolutely not.
Unlike Miami and New Orleans, Minneapolis is a miserable place to be in February. It’s cold, dreary and the chance of precipitation is extremely high. Besides frigid temperatures, there’s a strong possibility that the Minneapolis weather in the days leading up to Super Bowl LII will feature snow, sleet or freezing rain.
Super Bowls are week-long events, not just one-day affairs. That said, it makes sense to give fans and media members the most comfortable accommodations possible by holding the event in a warm, comfortable location.
It was announced on the afternoon of May 21 that Minneapolis had edged Indianapolis and New Orleans in a secret-ballot vote by NFL owners for Super Bowl LII. New Orleans has hosted 10 Super Bowl events, while Indianapolis did a fine job holding one in 2012. Minneapolis, which hosted a Super Bowl in 1992, wasn’t expected to earn the nod, but their new stadium appeared to be the deciding factor in the vote.
Minneapolis residents and Vikings’ officials will certainly be proud to host America’s greatest annual sporting event. Unfortunately, those flying in from other cities will likely not be too pleased with the announcement.