Super Bowl 2018 Faces a Logistics Challenge

by Morgan Cruz, Marketing Content Coordinator, MHI | @mhi_morgan

2018’s Super Bowl LII is facing a logistics challenge as they get ready for the estimated 1 million guests over the 10 day festival coming to Minnesota. No Super Bowl host has ever played a divisional-round game at home, but the Minnesota Vikings did just that on January 14. They’re having a great year (our CEO is cheering – can you guess what his team is…) and making history while also throwing the NFL for a loop. Usually, the league will begin preparations and go to the host stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium for the Vikings, as soon as the regular season ends.

So what happens for the logistics of the stadium if the Vikings are one of the teams for Super Bowl LII and what needs to happen at the U.S. Bank Stadium before the game?

Peter O’Reilly, the league’s senior vice president of events says, “It’ll cause us to probably increase our manpower and everything that goes into that, but we have each of those scenarios laid out and are confident in our ability to get the work done.”

The Sports Illustrated article, What Happens If the Vikings Reach Super Bowl LII? Expect Plenty of Logistical Challenges, describes what needs to be done to the stadium — “booths for international broadcasters will need to be built out. So, too, will the auxiliary press box, usually in an upper-level corner of the stadium, which could impact ticket sales in a conference title game. Special lighting elements for the halftime show have to be installed and rigged. There will need to be locker room setups and build-outs for the large press conference areas.”

In addition, an extensive security perimeter must be built around the stadium. The Super Bowl has been designated as a Level One SEAR (Special Event Assessment Rating) Event, which is determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Minnesota will pull metro and statewide law enforcement in collaboration with resources brought in from the local, county and state level.

The logistics of the Super Bowl is a massive undertaking that takes years to plan. Frank Supovitz, prior NFL senior vice president of special events says, “The Super Bowl is a living, breathing organism. It’s subject to surprises at any corner and any level.” Nevertheless, the league has planned for every scenario and is confident Super Bowl 2018 will go off without a hitch.