KRAVITZ: The Mall of America Super Bowl; so you say you want to get an Orange Julius?

U.S. Bank Stadium helped Minneapolis land Super Bowl LII. (WTHR photo)
Bob Kravitz

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Nothing against Minneapolis but, well, they took our Super Bowl.

Indianapolis, as you probably know, bid for this year's Super Bowl LII and got beat out by Minneapolis due to the fact they built the brand-spanking-new U.S. Bank Stadium. That's how these things are usually done, especially when it comes to northern Super Bowls. If you build it, usually with lots of taxpayer funds, you will be awarded a Super Bowl. That's largely why Indy got its Super Bowl back in 2012, and it's why we're freezing our buns off this week here in the Bold North.

This is an interesting setup, I must say. Downtown is rocking, especially over by the Nicolett Mall area, which is basically Minneapolis' version of our Georgia Street. Certainly, downtown is the center of fan activity, just as it was in Indianapolis. And you can get Nordic Waffles, which are not currently on my diet but somehow ended up in my belly.

What's different is, the Mall of America, which is out by the airport and roughly a 15- to 20-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis, is the centerpiece for the media and the teams. In Indianapolis, absolutely everything was downtown – the teams, the media, the fans, the whole extravaganza. At this Super Bowl, the teams are staying near the Mall. The media is staying near the Mall. The interviews are at the Mall. The media center is at the Mall.

(Team WTHR stayed downtown. Our hotel is one of these nouveau boutique places that look like what would happen if a hotel had a child with an IKEA. Weird, minimalist furniture. It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to operate the shower, which has multiple handles and absolutely no visible instructions. The other night, I had to call downstairs to ask the front desk how to turn off the stupid light over the minimalistic-looking desk.

"Oh, yeah, we get those calls all the time," the woman at the front desk said.

"Have you thought about putting a light switch near where the light is actually located?" I wondered.

(Then she launched into a short dissertation on how to actually find the dimmer switch, which was located on the other side of the room. Which makes perfect sense.)


The last/first time Minneapolis held a Super Bowl, which was in 1992, everything was downtown. It was awesome, if memory serves. Yeah, it was cold as heck, but they have miles and miles of walkways so you rarely have to go outside and get exposed to the sub-zero winter temperatures.

So what I'm saying is this: Right now, Indy isn't planning on bidding for another Super Bowl, at least not in the near future. The reason is, they don't do northern Super Bowls that often, and there are a number of new warm-weather stadiums coming on line, including Atlanta, which builds stadiums with the frequency most people change underwear, and Los Angeles.

Don't give up the dream, though. We need to do it again and will do it again. Because we did it right, did it as well as anybody has ever done it. Or even better.

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