Super Bowl planners bask in victory, start paving road to 2018


Minnesota business and political leaders celebrated their Super Bowl victory Wednesday ... and started a new phase of planning for 2018's big game.

A day after the NFL chose Minneapolis as the site of Super Bowl LII, the delegation that made Minnesota's pitch to the league was exultant about landing the game. Now the reward for their success is more than three years of planning America's biggest annual party.

At a Capitol news conference Gov. Mark Dayton said state legislators will likely be asked to approve some sales tax exemptions connected to the Super Bowl, the Associated Press reports.

Purchases of Super Bowl tickets are already exempt from the sales tax thanks to a state law passed when Minneapolis hosted the 1992 game, the AP says. But these days the Super Bowl is not just a game, it's a week-long festival featuring several events that the NFL will want to have exempted from local taxes.

As KSTP reports, the league also has a policy of Super Bowl players not paying state income taxes. But Michelle Kelm-Helgen, who chairs the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, says the Dayton administration does not want to ask lawmakers to write off that income. She tells the AP private contributions will cover the cost of the tax break.

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U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard Davis tells the AP corporate contributions toward the Super Bowl planning effort have already totaled $30 million and many businesses have not yet been asked for money.

Some of those businesses may see their contributions come back to them when an estimated 100,000 visitors arrive in the Twin Cities for the big game. State officials say the economic benefit of hosting the Super Bowl will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But FOX 9 reports there's no consensus on a more precise estimate.

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Landing the Super Bowl gives elected officials who argued in favor of spending public money on a new Vikings stadium something to crow about.

But this week's Super Bowl enthusiasm is so strong, even some who fought against a stadium subsidy are celebrating. MinnPost notes that includes Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who argued against stadium funding when she served on the city council.

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