On Air
0:00
0:00
Open In Popup
MPR News

Sports talk jocks rock the Mall of America

Share story

Media members in town to cover the Super Bowl broadcast from MOA.
Media members in town to cover the Super Bowl broadcast from radio row outside the North Food Court at Mall of America on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.
Kyle Shiely | MPR News

Along with the players and celebrities, hundreds of sports talk radio hosts have descended on the Twin Cities as part of the ramp up to Super Bowl 52.

Media from around the world have set up camp in "radio row," located outside the North Food Court at Mall of America. Mall-goers can stand and gawk as these hosts spend their days talking to current NFL players like Kirk Cousins and hall of Famers like Emmitt Smith, who are shuffled from table-to-table in a form of organized chaos.

We set out to find out what these broadcasters thought of Minnesota in their short time here. The first thing they all mentioned was the weather.

"It's cold," said Mike Dempsey, host of Jaguars Today on 1010XL in Jacksonville Florida. "But you know that I mean we're not dumb. We know it's cold in Minnesota. It's fine. We're indoors most of the time anyway. I actually like the fact that we got to see snow for a couple of days."

Will Gavin from TalkSport in the United Kingdom said the same thing. "It's cold. I've never experienced cold like this."

TalkSport's Will Gavin, left, interviews Vikings president Mark Wilf.
TalkSport presenter Will Gavin, left, interviews Vikings president and co-owner Mark Wilf (right) on Super Bowl media's radio row at the Mall of America on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.
Kyle Shiely | MPR News

"The hundred-yard walk from the bus to the media center, my beard froze across my top lip. Actually went kind of crystallized," said Gavin. "So yeah it's cold."

Sebastian Martinez Christensen is in Minnesota to call the game for ESPN Deportes Radio.

"I got here last Saturday. I went to St. Paul, the winter festival was there. People were chanting while we were eating which was pretty cool," said Martinez Christensen. "I didn't know what it really meant to be honest with you."

The broadcasters have been busy working every day, but have ventured out to try some of the local dining scene.

"We went to Matt's last night got ourselves a Juicy Lucy," said Gavin. "We were told we had to go and get the original."

"One of the guys I was with claimed it was the best burger he's ever eaten. I've eaten a lot of burgers in my time. It's definitely up there. Best ever? I'd really have a sit down and do the power rankings to figure it out," said Gavin.

Sebastian Martinez Christensen from ESPN interviews Emmitt Smith.
Sebastian Martinez Christensen, left, from ESPN Deportes Radio interviews Emmitt Smith, right, on the Super Bowl radio row at the Mall of America on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.
Kyle Shiely | MPR News

Martinez Christensen said he is a foodie and after doing his research online, ventured out to Wayzata.

"Gavin Kaysen was like a dude that revolutionized the gastronomy here, so we went to one of his restaurants out there ... I think it's called Bellecour," said Martinez Christensen.

"It was really nice and the food, for me, in that place, was extraordinary."

And for Dempsey?

"We went to Tiny Diner last night, that was good," said Dempsey. "And other than that, just taking advantage of the close proximity to the food court here in the Mall of America."