NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t even tried to keep it a secret that the way to lure the NFL to your city to host a Super Bowl is to build a shiny new stadium, chock full of all the latest gadgets and amenities.
But the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the league had a very long and expensive list of demands to go along with their new $1 billion football home (being built largely with public funding) if the city wanted to play host to the big game.
In order for the city to be awarded the 2018 Super Bowl, the NFL wanted such things as free police escorts for team owners, 35,000 free parking spaces, presidential suites at no cost in swanky hotels, billboads (at no cost) across the city, and even more.
The Star-Tribune published a copy of the document, which has not been made public.
Now not necessarily everything in the bid requirements was agreed to, as Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ office said it did not know what the city’s host committee had decided to do. “We haven’t seen the bid, so we don’t know what was agreed to,” said Kate Brickman, Hodges’ spokeswoman.
Government guarantees, golf, TV rights, bowling, preferred ATMs – you name it, and the NFL asked for it.
Some in Minnesota weren’t happy with the NFL’s secret ransom demands. “This is wrong,” said former Gov. Arne Carlson. “This is a huge public event. It should be transparent. We should know how the NFL operates.”
It will be interesting to see exactly which requirements the city’s host committee did agree to.