The Minnesota Vikings fell shy of being the first team to ever play in a home Super Bowl. Although they were defeated, thousands of Philadelphia and New England fans will flock to U.S. Bank Stadium for the game this Sunday. Though we are hosting the largest sporting event in America for the second time, there are many ways that the city will change for the weekend of chaos. Passionate fans will line the streets, making everyday tasks for downtown residents seem impossible.
About three weeks ago, the City of Minneapolis started preparing for the big game. By shutting down the streets that immediately surround the stadium, they are ensuring less traffic. Some businesses have already decided that on February 4th, they will not open. By doing so, they are hoping to save their employees the headaches of navigating downtown. On the contrary, many restaurants have extended their hours during the days leading up to and on the big game day. Traffic in the city, by foot and car, are bound to be at an all-time high and people are going to want places to eat and drink.
Event organizers are encouraging businesses owners to decide, based on their own comfort level. While many companies are allowing flexible work hours and even work from home options, others want business to go as usual. Many have to bear in mind that although public transportation will remain open, it will be jam-packed with tourists who aren’t familiar with the city. However, Andrea Mokros, VP of communications with the Super Bowl Host Committee, claims “Transit will be running more frequently so you should be able to get a bus or a train much more quickly than you normally would.”
If the Vikings had made it to the Super Bowl, the economic impact would have changed in a drastic manner. Out-of-town fans for the Patriots would have contributed to tourism. But, having two teams that aren’t from the hosting state, creates an even larger economic boom for Minneapolis. Hotels are already filling up, whereas fewer overnight stays would have been needed, had the Vikings defeated the Eagles. The bright side is that the city will now make more money from the incoming tourists. Local business who choose to stay open can expect big crowds, starting as early as Thursday before the game.