Electronic billboards flashed the celebratory news May 20 that the National Football League had selected Minneapolis as the site of the Super Bowl in 2018.

News reports said the city and state’s decision to partner with the Minnesota Vikings to build a new football stadium was a decisive factor in bringing the Super Bowl here.

The business community has pledged tens of millions of dollars in order to host the Super Bowl. Elected officials and union leaders joined business leaders in cheering the news of the NFL decision.

“Hosting the Super Bowl will provide a terrific opportunity to showcase Minnesota to the world,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “It will also bring major economic benefits to our state.”

“Let’s thank the Super Bowl committee led by Michele Kelm-Helgen,” said Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation. McCarthy serves with Kelm-Helgen on the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the agency charged with building the new football stadium.

Nancy Goldman, president of UNITE HERE Local 17, the hotel and restaurant workers’ union, commented: “Of course, it’s good news for our members… It’s going to benefit thousands of workers at a time when it is generally quite slow here.”

In addition to benefiting hotel and restaurant workers, hosting the Super Bowl will bring work and overtime hours for countless other union members: from construction workers to stagehands to musicians to police.

“It’s like a week-long community celebration,” noted City Council President Barb Johnson.

By 2018, the city will show-off new developments including a refurbished Nicollet Mall, Downtown East and an expanded light rail system. While the new Vikings stadium helped land the Super Bowl, Johnson said “on-going tax base from redevelopment around the stadium will be the real prize.”

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