Updated: 05/07/2014 1:47 PM
Created: 05/06/2014 7:31 PM KSTP.com
By: Stephen Tellier
It's an event that would focus more than 50 million pairs of eyes on the state of Minnesota. On Wednesday, officials will submit the state's finalized bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl, but securing the big game is no sure thing.
The details of the bid are confidential because the competition is so fierce. But it's very clear many feel Minnesota is due.
Just how long ago was the last time -- the only time -- Minneapolis hosted the Super Bowl? We dug into our archives and found video of vendors selling disposable cameras.
That was in 1992. Twenty-six years later, could the big game make its long-awaited return to Minnesota?
"Minneapolis has to be considered the odds-on favorite," said Victor Matheson, a sports economist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
He puts the chances at better than 50/50 that Minneapolis will win out, and the reason doesn't even exist yet.
"The NFL really does want to explicitly reward cities that have coughed up, in Minneapolis' case, about $500 million of taxpayer money to build a new stadium," Matheson said.
The new Vikings stadium is the main draw. Officials have also revealed the bid includes 19,000 hotel rooms, 48 different venue options, and an NFL theme park that's expected to draw 150,000 fans.
"Even if this isn't quite as big an economic event as the NFL might claim, it will still be a very fun event for Minneapolis and Twin Cities residents," Matheson said.
But there are two other strong finalists: Indianapolis and New Orleans. Indianapolis hosted in 2012 and received rave reviews. New Orleans has hosted ten Super Bowls, and some think the Big Easy will get a big birthday gift. 2018 is the city's 300th birthday, and a Super Bowl would kick off the celebration. That would mean Minneapolis would be asked to wait a year.
"Even if you see Minneapolis lose out to New Orleans this year, that certainly just makes them the front runner for 2019," Matheson said.
On Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee will be meeting with the media to discuss the bid.
Minnesota will formally present its bid at a meeting of the NFL owners in Atlanta on May 20. That's also when the owners will vote and announce their decision on the site of the 2018 Super Bowl.