(Reuters) – Minneapolis will host the 52nd Super Bowl in 2018 after the National Football League’s (NFL) team owners voted to stage the sport’s showcase game at the city’s brand new stadium.
NFL owners have made a habit of rewarding cities that build new stadiums by giving them the Super Bowl and Minneapolis is the latest recipient after getting the nod ahead of rival bids from New Orleans and Indianapolis.
The $1 billion Minnesota Vikings Stadium is still under construction but is due to be finished in 2016, two years before the biggest single day sports event in North America rolls around.
“We are thrilled to bring the Super Bowl back to Minnesota,” said Richard Davis, who chaired the bid committee, in a statement.
“We succeeded in making the best case to the NFL owners by pointing out the many strengths our region offers.”
In recent years, the NFL has increasingly awarded Super Bowls to cities in colder weather states with new stadiums. The 2012 Super Bowl was held in Indianapolis then this year’s in New Jersey.
It will be just the second time Minneapolis has hosted the Super Bowl after the recently demolished Metrodome was picked as the site for the 1992 game.
The Vikings will play at the University of Minnesota for the next two seasons while the new stadium is being constructed.
The new Vikings Stadium, which was half funded by public money, will have a retractable roof that will be closed for the Super Bowl, which will be played in the heart of winter.
“We appreciate the collaborative effort from Minnesota’s business and community leadership in putting together this winning bid,” Vikings owner Mark Wilf said.
“It was evident to me and my brother Zygi that the other NFL owners were extremely impressed with everything Minnesota had to offer, and we have no doubt they will be even more excited with what the community will deliver in February 2018.”
New Orleans has already hosted the Super Bowl a record 10 times, most recently in 2013, while Indianapolis was the host city in 2012.
The next three Super Bowls will all be held in warmer-weather cities with Phoenix selected for 2015, San Francisco for 2016 and Houston for 2017.
(Reporting by Julian Linden, editing by Gene Cherry)