January 04, 2018 06:21 PM
The largest ice sculpture company in the Midwest is based in downtown Minneapolis.
And in just a few weeks, they'll play a major role when the Super Bowl comes to their neighborhood.
The game is scheduled for Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Ice Sculptures CEO Robbie Harrell said the company started in a garage in 2013, selling textbooks for startup money.
"When I told my parents I was going to drop out of college and sell ice for a living they were a little nervous," he said.
But nearly five years later, the company has carved up more than 4,300 ice sculptures.
"We ship ice to Canada, Colorado, Texas, New York, you name it," he said. "We can throw it on a semi truck and out it goes.
"We've pushed through - from our rough calculations - about 4.6 million pounds of ice in and out of this freezer."
But one of their biggest honors yet is the Super Bowl.
Organizers picked the team to create a massive roman numeral sculpture signifying Super Bowl 52.
"This is really when we get to push our limits," Harrell said.
A few months ago, Harrell unveiled a much smaller version at a Super Bowl Live announcement.
"The ice is so clear that people look at it and they wonder if it's real ice," Harrell said.
Eventually, the 150,000 pound sculpture will make its way to Nicollet Mall. And Harrell said they're hoping for weather in the sweet spot of between 10 and 25 degrees.
"If it's too cold outside, the ice blocks get real finicky," Harrell said.
Minnesota Ice Sculptures is also making specialized ice cubes for bars and restaurants during the Super Bowl.
"It's a lot of fun," Harrell said. "We have a good time at the office in building all this cool stuff - especially when it comes to Super Bowl stuff."
The team said they're outgrowing their freezer and planning an upgrade.
"This cube business is just blowing up," said the company's Jim Field.
"Now to see how much it's grown and everything else," Harrell added. "It's awesome."
The Super Bowl sculpture will be placed on the Nicollet Mall during the first days of the 10-day festival, and should take about four days to finish.
Updated: January 04, 2018 06:21 PM
Created: January 04, 2018 04:33 PM
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