The Minnesota Vikings are now officially in charge of the preparation for Super Bowl LII and the “Handoff Week” is underway.
Those who were in downtown Minneapolis noticed the first step in the process last night when the official lighting of U.S. Bank Stadium, the 35W Bridge, the Lowry Avenue Bridge, the IDS Center and other local downtown landmarks were lit up in “Bold North” colors.
It turned out that was merely the beginning of Handoff Week. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed Feb. 6-10 as Super Bowl LII Handoff Week, highlighting the expectations for not just this week, but the 52-week countdown to the 10-day Bold North Festival surrounding next February’s Super Bowl.
In his proclamation, Dayton stated that the Super Bowl Host Committee will count down the 52 weeks until the Super Bowl with giving to the communities throughout the state, leaving a lasting legacy that will go far beyond the game itself.
The festivities for Handoff Week will continue today with an outdoor ice sculpture display from 2 to 4 p.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium’s Downtown East Plaza.
The Super Bowl Host Committee will officially kick off its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign with its first grant dedication and a press conference at 12:30 p.m. at Theodore Wirth Park. The charitable grants will be donated to communities throughout the state of the next 52 weeks, focusing on health and wellness programs for children and their families.
Thursday is going to see Chad Greenway’s Crew 52 surprising Minnesotans throughout the day in the Twin Cities metro area with gifts celebrating the Super Bowl countdown.
Arguably the biggest event to get Vikings fans out and about showing their support of the countdown process will be a “Show Us Your Bold” rally from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Mall of America Rotunda. Many current and former players, the Vikings cheerleaders and the Skol Line drum line will be in attendance to celebrate the local start to the countdown.
There is no question that the focus of the world will be on Minneapolis in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, in hopes that Mother Nature will cooperate. The last impression of that week will be the playing of the Super Bowl in Minnesota for just the second time in 52 years – joining the 1992 matchup of the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
The last time the NFL brought its showcase event to Minnesota, there were plenty of parties and gatherings, but it was nothing compared to what is coming a year from now.
There is a reason the Vikings and the MSBHC are touting the 52 weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. It’s going to take 52 weeks to get everything ready for the big game and Minneapolis won’t be the same because the Greatest Show on Earth is coming to town – and a lot of preparation work is going to be needed to pull it off without a hitch.