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Survey: Super Bowl coverage leaves favorable impression of Minneapolis

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Connor Todd, of New York, poses for a photo outside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Connor Todd, of New York, poses for a photo outside U.S. Bank Stadium the day before the Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Mark Humphrey | AP

They liked us. 

Mostly.

More than one-third of the nearly 1,000 Americans surveyed the week after Super Bowl LII was played in Minneapolis said they were more likely to consider the city as a good place to visit, according to a report  released Monday. 

And, perhaps not surprisingly, those who said they were less likely to take make the trip cited the cold as one reason.

SB Survey more less likely graph
Question: "As a result of media coverage of the Super Bowl, are you more or less likely to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit?"
APM Research Lab

APM Research Lab queried 973 adults in every state except Minnesota the week after the Philadelphia Eagles bested the New England Patriots, capping a 10-day stretch of activities showcasing the state's largest city. 

The survey cost $5,000 and was funded internally. It was not commissioned by the NFL, the local organizing committee or any chambers of commerce. It also was not supported by critics of the NFL or the Super Bowl, said Craig Helmstetter, the lab's managing partner. 

"Our basic question was: 'Did Minneapolis win the Super Bowl?'" Helmstetter said. "These results do suggest a victory, at least in terms of how the rest of the country views Minneapolis in the game's immediate aftermath."

The NFL championship game, which aired Feb. 4, was watched by an average of 103.4 million viewers, showcasing Minneapolis as the host city. 

Helmstetter said the survey should not be confused with hotly-debated cost-benefit studies about the game's impact for a host city. 

Super Bowl attendees stream out of the stadium after the game.
Super Bowl attendees stream out of US Bank stadium after the game on Feb. 4, 2018.
Evan Frost | MPR News

The study did note: "Hosting the Super Bowl does, however, present civic boosters with an opportunity (to) raise their city's national profile, with the hopes of generating longer-term returns in the form of tourism, talent recruitment and business development."

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee has promised to study the financial impact of the game. But that doesn't necessarily mean the public will get a full accounting of the game's costs and benefits to the region. 

One pre-game estimate put the number of visitors to the metro at 125,000. The Super Bowl Host Committee  said more than one million people took part in the activities preceding the game.

Helmstetter said a "more comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the event will be more instructive of how vigorously cities should be pursuing events like the Super Bowl."

But he added that the survey shows there are positives and negatives to hosting such an event.

Other key findings in the survey:

• 54 percent of Americans could name either Minneapolis or Minnesota when asked where the game was hosted.
• 29 percent said they were less likely to think of  Minneapolis as a good place to visit after they watched the game.
• 23 percent said the media coverage didn't influence their thoughts on whether Minneapolis would be a good place to visit.
• 60 percent of those living in northeastern states could identify the location of the game.
 • 70 percent of those living in north central states near Minnesota correctly identified where the game was played.

"Local organizers for this year's Super Bowl did a great job of marketing how fun it can be to live in a place with a real winter. When we asked those who indicated the Super Bowl made them "less likely" to think of Minneapolis as a good place to visit, however, many of them said that Minneapolis was just too cold. 

"That message was out of the control of local organizers or the NFL,'' Helmstetter added. "Mother Nature herself decided to make it the coldest Super Bowl in history."

MPR News and the APM Research Lab are both divisions of American Public Media.