MINNEAPOLIS - It was only a matter of time before the elephant in the room had to be discussed. What if the Vikings play in their own hometown Super Bowl?
It's something that has never been done before, at least a team playing the big game in their own stadium. At 9-2, leading the NFC North with the second-best record in the NFL, it is not out of the realm of possibility.
“I’m looking for some wood to knock on,” said Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
Cramer says that in this scenario they would expect a much higher involvement in pre-Super Bowl events and bigger crowds showing up coming from the region. Hotels might take a small hit with fewer people traveling with another market, but fans from the Dakotas and Iowa would need hotels too.
“I think what will be different though is the incredible excitement for the upper Midwest fanbase for the Vikings. I think they would flock up here like never before to be a part of this experience,” said Cramer.
Andrea Mokros, vice president of communication and events for the Minnesota Super Bowl Committee, says the biggest change would likely be in and around U.S. Bank Stadium.
“If there are playoff games being played up until close to the [Super Bowl], that would affect their planning close to the stadium,” said Mokros. “Really outside the stadium, as far as logistics, that all keeps moving forward.”
Cramer says a lot of the corporate investments in parties, tickets, and rentals have already been invested. He says a lot of the estimated $400 million in economic impact coming to the Twin Cities is built-in, regardless of who’s in the game.
Admittedly, Cramer says it feels icky even talking about the prospect.
“If there’s a five-game losing streak, it's not my fault,” said Cramer.