State and University of Minnesota officials are hoping to add the College Football Playoff championship to the growing list of high-profile events that the new Vikings stadium will host.
Gov. Mark Dayton, University head football coach Jerry Kill and business leaders announced Minnesota’s bid Tuesday for hosting the championship at the downtown Minneapolis stadium in 2020.
The stadium has already secured bids on Super Bowl LII in 2018 and NCAA men’s Final Four in 2019.
“As you know, we’ve been very successful … with [getting] the Super Bowl and the Final Four,” Dayton said at a press conference Tuesday. “This is right up there with those major events as a chance to showcase the stadium, showcase Minneapolis and showcase Minnesota at a time in the year in early January when we’re overlooked by a lot of folks.”
Officials will work in the upcoming months to fundraise the cost of the bid. Co-chair of the effort Scot Housh, who is the president and CEO of Willis of Minnesota, said he expects to raise between $8 to $12 million.
According to stipulations by the committee that oversees the College Football Playoff, the city must provide 10,000 hotel rooms near the stadium and an arena to host two concerts on the Saturday and Sunday before the game on Monday night to satisfy the bid. It also must provide locations for other events, like a fan festival,
which officials said would be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Dayton and committee members said they are confident in the state’s facilities and infrastructure to support the event’s large crowds.
The governor named Kill an honorary co-chair to the overseeing committee. The fifth-year head coach said he expects to help answer football-related questions for the committee, but his role with the group is still being defined.
Kill said this bid will enhance his recruiting abilities, and he’s already used the upcoming Super Bowl as a pitch to potential Gophers.
“We are either a positive front porch or a negative porch to our state and University,” Kill said. “I think bringing these events to Minnesota … really helps [us] in recruiting because it sells how vibrant the Twin Cities are.”
Bids to host the College Football Playoff in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are due May 27, and the bidders will not know their competitors until then.
In January, the first-ever College Football Playoff was held in Arlington, Texas. The event brought an estimated economic impact of $308 million to the Arlington area.
Committee members said by 2020 that sum would be higher, as the game garners more attention both nationally and internationally.
The College Football Playoff championship will be played in Glendale, Ariz., next year and in Tampa, Fla., in 2017.
Though the planned games are taking place in the south, CFP officials made it clear that they want to consider “non-traditional” cities as future hosts.
“I don’t know if there’s a better place in our country to have an event like this,” Kill said.