MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings and the Twin Cities hosted members of the NFL this week to prepare their bid for the 2018 Super Bowl.
Frank Supovitz, the NFL's senior vice president of events, toured the area and took a look at the plans for the new Vikings stadium. The Twin Cities are competing with New Orleans and Indianapolis for the bid. They will make their final pitches at an NFL owners meeting in May.
The Twin Cities previously hosted a Super Bowl in 1992.
Supovitz says building a new stadium doesn't guarantee that a Super Bowl will come to Minneapolis. But he did note that the NFL has a history of rewarding communities that do build new stadiums with the league's marquee event.
"There has been a record on behalf of the NFL to support communities who have built new buildings in public private partnerships," said Supovitz.
He added he and his team were in town to help the city come up with its best plan.
"We're here as guide, we're here as guides and coaches as we are with the other two cities. So they can put their best foot forward," he said.
"I felt optimistic about our chances," said Michel Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Yet Kelm-Helgen told KARE 11 work still needs to be done.
"It was very obvious we were competing for this bid. I think 2018 is our best chance," she said.
But to get there she said the legislature would have to approve tax exemptions for game tickets, other events, and player salaries, which is an NFL requirement and something New Orleans and Indianapolis have already done.
It is unclear if the legislators are willing to do that, especially since some have criticized how the tax dollars being spent for the new stadium.
Proponents argue it's a small price to pay. Kelm-Helgen said when Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl, the city brought in $40 million just in tax revenue after the required exemptions.
"When we have an opportunity to fill a gap like that the hospitality community does benefit from that significantly," said Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis President and CEO.
Planners would also have to add 5,000 seats to the new Vikings Stadium to meet minimum seating requirements for the Super Bowl.