NFL says Super Bowl will benefit Twin Cities' image most

Fans arrive at Vikings-Packers game Sunday.
Fans arrive at U.S. Bank Stadium before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Minneapolis.
Andy Clayton-King | AP 2016

The NFL's chief operating officer said the Super Bowl in Minneapolis next February will pay off economically for the region. But he expects the biggest kick will be to the area's image.

"I think what most cities truly value is, for that moment in time, literally the world viewing that city and all that it has to offer," Tod Leiweke said at a Minneapolis news conference Wednesday after he spoke to the Economic Club of Minnesota.

The former Minnesota Wild president is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the football league.

Leiweke said the championship game and related events could pump up to $400 million into the local economy. But a number of economists think that's overly optimistic and the net economic benefit will be a fraction of that.

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The NFL executive also said he's not worried about winter weather messing up game festivities.

The match-up, of course, will be inside U.S. Bank Stadium. But there'll be a lot of parties, celebrations and other events leading up to the game.

Many will be held outside, along Nicollet Mall, for instance. Leiweke said a taste of winter could add to the fun.

"I think the weather here is part of its charm," he said. "So, bring it on, because we're going to show the world what a great place this is: snow, sunshine, whatever it might be."