Skip to main content

For some Minneapolis bars, the Super Bowl business boom never arrived

Fear of the crowds encouraged locals to stay at home.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

You saw the headlines when it was announced the Super Bowl was coming to Minneapolis, promising a huge boost to the local economy as visitors swarmed to the Twin Cities.

Initial estimations were that the game would increase spending by around $340 million, though the New York Times spoke to sports economists who suggested that the actual benefit would be much lower, anywhere between $30 million-$130 million.

And while there are undoubted winners from the service industry – Manny's Steakhouse and Spoon & Stable among those welcoming high-profile guests – other bars and restaurants have been left wondering where the supposed business boom went.

'It was a bit of a letdown'

Among those was the Black Sheep, whose locations include the North Loop and Eat Street in Minneapolis, and downtown St. Paul.

Area manager Kristina Lawson told GoMN that despite a busier end to the week following a slow start, they had been expecting more.

"I think that there was so much out there saying how chaotic it was going to be downtown that the local folks stayed in also," she said.

"Today [Sunday] we have been full most of the day but we were definitely expecting to be much busier. It is a bit of a let down after all the hype but we are having a blast getting people in from all over the country."

There were similar stories from elsewhere in the city. MPR reports that there were contrasting fortunes in and around Nicollet Mall – the epicenter of the locally-run Super Bowl Live festival.

While bars like Brit's enjoyed a roaring trade, the nearby Hen House Eatery – about a block and a half off the mall – was left disappointed.

Anecdotes from other Minneapolis restaurants were in the same vein.

An event for the 'elites'

Closer to U.S. Bank Stadium, the Eagle Bolt Bar enjoyed a decent Super Bowl Sunday evening, but performance the rest of the week left a lot to be desired, even though the nearby Guthrie Theater sold out much of its events space.

Owner Ed Hopkins told GoMN that his was among the businesses that felt "shut out" by the Super Bowl, with an area near his bar taken over for the Guy Fieri-hosted Super Bowl Tailgate Party.

Related:

– Eagles fans flock to downtown gay bar to watch the Super Bowl

"I didn't realize it was such an elite event until I lived through it," he said. "The Super Bowl Committee rented out the lot next to us for the Chef Fieri event, so we lost all that parking and potential customers too.

"This was the first night of the Super Bowl that we benefited from the game. Friday night was our regulars and Saturday was horribly slow. Our regulars stayed away wanting to avoid downtown this weekend.

"Watching the games with the fans in our place tonight felt great because maybe all of us couldn't afford to participate in the sanctioned Super Bowl events or chose not to spend that kind of money."

Next Up

Becker Public Schools

School district sued by teachers' union over staff 'gag order'

The district has faced heightened scrutiny for months now.

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after vehicle crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.

Muhammad Masood

Guilty plea: Ex-Mayo Clinic researcher tried to fly to Syria and fight for ISIS

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man says he was pistol-whipped, robbed at gunpoint by trio

The incident allegedly happened in Brooklyn Park early Friday morning.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

Is the State Fair heatwave real, or an urban legend?

Sven Sundgaard checks the data behind the notion that the State Fair is Minnesota's 'last summer hurrah.'

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Related

Another crazy expensive event announced for Super Bowl week

At least this time it's for a good cause – and by a local organization.

Another crazy expensive event announced for Super Bowl week

At least this time it's for a good cause – and by a local organization.

Guy Fieri is back to host the Super Bowl tailgate party

Expect to see a few dozen NFL players in attendance too.