Before Tom Brady and the New England Patriots discussed their epic comeback in Super Bowl LI, the Minnesota Vikings and representatives from the Super Bowl LII Host Committee took the handoff from Houston on Monday morning during a press conference.
“We’re excited to bring the world’s premier sporting event to the Bold North,” Vikings owner Mark Wilf said, highlighting the theme of Minnesota’s Super Bowl. “I look forward to the opportunity to showcase Minnesota, the Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium. One year from now, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington and the entire state of Minnesota will represent extremely well on the world stage and the Vikings are so proud to be part of the team.”
Minnesota’s Super Bowl will take place on Feb. 4, 2018.
Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bank and co-chair of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, was in Houston, along with the contingent from the Vikings and host committee.
“The opportunity to showcase Minnesota is a chance to bring the whole state into the process,” Davis said. “Starting today, we’re beginning our 52 weeks of celebration.”
With 52 weeks to make Super Bowl LII happen at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, officials from the planning committee emphasized the “Bold North” theme to accentuate winters in Minnesota.
To commemorate the countdown, the 35W bridge, the Lowry Avenue bridge, IDS building and other Minnesota landmarks in downtown will light up in Bold North colors at 6 p.m. on Monday. Countdown clocks and billboards were started and unveiled 12 hours prior to that and the festivities will continue throughout the week until a Friday celebration at the Mall of America Rotunda from 5-7 p.m.
“The game ball belongs to our entire state, and we are excited that so many Minnesotans were part of our effort to bring it home,” said Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. “Our Minnesota Handoff video showcases our beautiful state, our welcoming people, and our enthusiasm for hosting Super Bowl LII in the Bold North. Now that Minnesota is on the clock, we are excited to celebrate the 52-week countdown to a safe and successful Super Bowl LII.”
Other celebrations are planned throughout the week, with ice sculptures and a celebration on the U.S. Bank Stadium plaza from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday.
The Minnesota host committee showed a video from people around the state taking and throwing passes in front of some of Minnesota’s landmarks. The video ended with Hall of Famer Carl Eller, Vikings vice presidents, and Wilf and Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant receiving the ball.
“We are bold in the North. You’ve got to be bold,” Davis said, highlighting some of the outdoor activities Minnesotans enjoy in the winter. “You can see people walking around in very cold temperatures, even without coats because that’s what we do. This is the Bold North and we want to showcase this winter wonderland for you.”