Did Super Bowl Hype Lead to Projected Economic Jolt? Early Returns Unclear

February 05, 2018 10:27 PM

The Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl LII, but folks behind the bid to get the game to Minneapolis think Minnesota is the real MVP.

Pregame predictions by Rockport Analytics suggested 125,000 people would spend roughly $407 million over the 10-day Super Bowl experience. The study suggested shoppers would dish out $610 per day.  


Karen Hannon is the kind of out-of-state shopper the Super Bowl Host Committee and Meet Minneapolis – the city's tourism bureau – courted. 

RELATED: Company Studies Economic Impact of Super Bowl Leading Up to Game

The Pittsburgh resident has been in town for 13 days. She heads home Tuesday having spent money at hotels, restaurants, the Mall of America and on Nicollet Mall, where on Monday night she had a bag full of Super Bowl stuff.

"I bought this at Paisley Park," she said. "It's an $80 tambourine – don't tell my husband, I had to have it." 

Melvin Tennant is the CEO of Meet Minneapolis. On Monday, he offered an early post-game economic analysis.

"Businesses that don't typically get visitors this time of year, for a lot of reasons, were very busy on Nicollet Mall and the skyway," he said.

Tennant also said stores that are normally closed on weekends stayed open Feb. 3 and 4 to cash in.  

Given that Minnesota isn't a vacation hot spot in February, hotels that usually run at 55 percent occupancy had no availability this past weekend. 

Tennant said he was impressed with the number of people browsing and buying at the Visitor Information Center on South 5th Street and Nicollet Mall. From Jan. 26 through Feb. 4, the 10 days of Super Bowl festivities, nearly 14,000 guests passed through the doors, compared to a mere 1,300 last year during the same time frame. 

RELATED: Frigid Super Bowl Raises Questions About Northern Venues

"Of course being able to get information on the city and making plans to come back, but also the retail numbers were very strong as well," Tennant said.

However, some businesses said they sent workers home early because of the business didn't reach the hype. And folks who weren't football fans left town to avoid the crowds, taking their wallets with them. 

According to the Rockport Analytics study, that meant Minnesota would net $68 million less than hoped for – coming to $338 million over 10 days. 

Tennant said Meet Minneapolis first put in a bid for Super Bowl LII four years ago, and the agency is already bidding and booking events for 2025. A future study will examine the Super Bowl's full economic impact later this year. 


Beth McDonough

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