The culmination of almost four years of work is here, as members of the NFL, Governor Dayton, the Super Bowl Host Committee, and the Wilf Family kicked off the beginning of a week of activities leading up to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. This group welcomed members of the media to the “Bold North”, highlighting the week, and officially starting the festivities of the week. At the heart of this event was a declaration from Governor Dayton, calling this week “Super Bowl Week in Minnesota”.

The recurring theme from Governor Dayton, as well as Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch is that this Super Bowl is unique for more reasons than just the weather. While below-freezing temperatures are expected to grip the Twin Cities through the week, a number of other highlights, including the overwhelming support of the public, were pointed to as reasons this event is so unique.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

The hospitable and welcoming nature of the whole state was a focus of the event. Paramount of all of the various facts and figures is the fact that over 30,000 people applied to be volunteers for Super Bowl LII. Of those 30,000, almost 12,000 are helping in various capacities through the week. Roughly 90% of those volunteers are from Minnesota.

Other unique aspects of this Super Bowl include the fact that three different cities are playing major roles. Among other events, St. Paul is hosting Super Bowl Opening Night at the Xcel Energy Center, where fans will be able to see the teams for the first time in an introductory event for the week. Across the river in Minneapolis, the Super Bowl Experience, Super Bowl Live, and Super Bowl LII at US Bank Stadium are the biggest events of many events held in the city.

To the south, Bloomington is also playing a major role in the week’s happenings. Mall of America is host to Radio Row, the first time this aspect of the week is being held in a public venue. Previously this media broadcast event that includes appearances by many current and former players was held  in a convention center or other closed venue. This year, the public can enjoy the viewing gallery on the third level of the MOA near the new food court. NFL Network, SiriusXM, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports Network, and a number of other media from around the world will be on display all week for fans to watch and listen in.

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

The Mall of America will also offer a first-ever opportunity for fans to go through security on gameday before heading to the game. Fans will be able to go through a security checkpoint at the mall before boarding public transportation that will head to US Bank Stadium. This convenient process will also save fans the hassle of having to wait in security lines outside the stadium in the cold and elements on Sunday.

Gameday will also offer a different fan experience, with extended activities happening inside the stadium before the game. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy entertainment inside US Bank Stadium, which will serve as the replacement for traditional outdoor tailgating. Due to cold temperatures, the host committee does remind fans to be prepared for the weather. While it is possible to travel much of the way to the stadium in the warmth of public transportation or the skywalk system, there are still points where you will need to be outside, so cold weather gear is very much recommended.