If your city wants to host the Super Bowl, it better prepare to bend over backward for the NFL. The league has plenty of demands, 153 pages of them to be exact, and they're not all exactly easy to meet.
The Star Tribune, the largest newspaper in Minnesota, recently got its hands on the NFL's wish list after Minnesota was awarded the 2018 Super Bowl. The Twin Cities beat out bids from Indianapolis and New Orleans to host the game. Sure, there are practical and expected items on the NFL's wish list: Your stadium needs a minimum of 70,000 fixed seats, sufficient restrooms, luxury boxes, club seats, and of course, compliance with ADA and accessibility codes and an adequate playing surface.
Related: 11 Facts About Minnesota and Its Super Bowl Stadium
Then there are some demands for the city. The Super Bowl is big business, so one can understand why some of these are needed.
For example, the host city must have three "top quality" golf courses that the NFL can access in the summer and fall months before the Super Bowl and two "top quality" bowling alleys that can be reserved for the Super Bowl Celebrity Bowling Classic. Of course, this should come at no cost to the NFL.
Then come the more outlandish demands:
- Hotels where the teams will stay are obligated to televise the NFL Network for a year before the Super Bowl at no cost to the league.
- If cellphone strength at the team hotels isn't strong enough, the host committee "will be responsible [for erecting] a sufficient number of portable cellular towers." Of course, the league will not help fund this either.
- Under a six-page "Government Guarantees" section of the document, the NFL asks that local police provide officers for anti-counterfeit enforcement teams focused on tickets and merchandise. This too should come at no cost to the league.
- Licensing fees for as many as 450 courtesy cars and buses during the week of the Super Bowl should be waived.
- 20 billboards "in NFL designated areas" across the Twin Cities metro area must be made available to the NFL at no charge.
- The host committee must pay all travel and expenses for an optional "familiarization trip" for up to 180 people to visit the Twin Cities in advance of the game.
- Inside the stadium for the Super Bowl, the league asks that it be able to install ATMs that accept NFL preferred credit and debit cards. If the stadium has different ATMs? Those need to be removed since they "conflict with NFL preferred payment services."
- The league also asked for benefits from the local media such as providing "significant advertising and promotional time," for the "NFL Experience" in the month leading up to the game. This includes at least 20 color pages of free ad space in leading daily newspapers and four weeks of promos on at least six local radio stations. And you guessed it, this too should come at no cost to the league.
- Finally, the NFL expects free curbside parking at a yet-to-be designated "NFL House," which if you're curious, is a "high-end, exclusive drop-in hospitality facility for our most valued and influential guests to meet, unwind, network and conduct business."
To read the entire 153 page document, click here.
When the Star Tribune asked the NFL about the document which it obtained through unnamed sources, the NFL declined to comment.
According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota's host committee, which was co-chaired by U.S. Bancorp chief executive Richard Davis, says it has $30 million in private pledges that will be used to help offset public costs for staging the game. Members of the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee submitted a statement saying they didn’t agree to all the specifications outlined in the document, but, citing state statutes, declined to provide a copy of their winning bid.
So, with this condensed list of the NFL's demands in mind, we want to hear from you. Which one is the most unreasonable? Let us know in the comments section.