Super Bowl bids are unquestionably competitive. It's tough to become a finalist let alone land one, especially if you're a random, cold-weather city like Minneapolis. But the new home of the Vikings recently scored Super Bowl LII.
And the Minneapolis Star-Tribune revealed over the weekend how: a lot of concessions. The newspaper obtained and posted on their site a copy of the NFL's "Host City Bid Specifications and Requirements."
It shouldn't be a major surprise, but the NFL typically gets what it wants. Also: the Super Bowl functions as a gigantic corporate sponsorship fest. (No stunner there.)
A few interesting items that caught our eye while combing through the 153-page document.
- NFL controls "100 percent of the revenues from all ticket sales" including "ticket sales in all suites" and the NFL "must have exclusive access to all club seats"
- NFL requires a "climate-controlled domed stadium" if average temperature for that region falls below 50 degrees
- "Postgame removal of the field shall be of no cost to the NFL" unless it wants to remove parts of the field "for the sale of licensed products"
- "Exclusive, cost-free use of 35,000" parking spaces for gameday parking
- The NFL has the "option to install ATMs that accept NFL preferred credit/debit cards in exchange for cash" and to cover up other ATMs.
- Team hotels must agree to televise the NFL Network for one year leading up to the Super Bowl
- If cellular service is too weak at the team hotels (based on the "sole discretion of the NFL"), the Host Committee must install boosters and/or cell antennas.
- "Local enforcement officers will be provided to the NFL" for anti-counterfeit enforcement teams "at not cost to the NFL."
- Full tax exemption from city, state and local taxes for tickets sold to the Super Bowl (and also the NFL Experience, the NFL Honors show and "other NFL Official Events").
- "The NFL shall receive priority over all other ice and snow removal projects, except those that directly threaten life or public safety."
- Tons of advertising for the NFL Experience: 1,500 ratings points on TV stations, 20 pages of color ads in local newspapers and a 12-page fan guide inserted twice, 250 live or pre-recorded radio spots on six local stations and 10 billboards.
- Under "additional facilities" the NFL requires the usage of three golf courses and two bowling lanes:
The Host Committee for Minneapolis told the Star-Tribune “while the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee did not agree to all of the NFL’s Super Bowl bid specifications, the competitive bid remains private."
We don't know exactly what the Host Committee declined to accept, but it clearly didn't matter (or it wasn't that much) because the NFL ultimately selected their bid.
Could failing to agree to the NFL's bid specifications cost a host city a chance at a Super Bowl? Not, um, officially.
"There is tremendous value to a community in hosting an event of the Super Bowl’s magnitude and the competition to host one is significant,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Tribune.
The reality is there are a ton of requirements on here, but it's not like Roger Goodell is demanding no brown M&M's in his party suite or anything.
A Super Bowl is a MASSIVE deal for a city and a week-long event that requires -- as you can tell -- years of planning. The NFL is a well-oiled ATM in its own right. It's hardly surprising they know how to maximize profit and streamline things during the Super Bowl bid process.