Someday, if Minneapolis leaders get their wish, confetti will rain from the U.S. Bank Stadium roof, as an overjoyed college football coach hoists a 24-karat gold trophy.
Someday, the stadium could fill with fans roaring as costumed brawlers make grand entrances before pulverizing each other in the ring.
Fresh off the Super Bowl, Minneapolis is preparing to host the men's college basketball Final Four and a slew of other national events. Meanwhile, city leaders still have their sights on the College Football Playoff and the spectacle known as WrestleMania, the two biggest events not yet in the Twin Cities' fold.
How confident are they? Consider the comments this week when the NCAA announced that the 2022 Women's Final Four was coming to Target Center.
"We're in a league of our own," said Melvin Tennant, president of the Meet Minneapolis convention and visitors bureau.
"We're really finding that people love us," added Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. "And we love them right back."
Despite their freezing reputations nationally, the Twin Cities have entered rarefied air. Only four other markets have been picked to host the trifecta of the Super Bowl, men's Final Four and women's Final Four: Atlanta, Dallas/Arlington, Indianapolis and New Orleans.
Throw in markets that have held the MLB All-Star Game, at least this century, and Minneapolis sits with Atlanta on that list.
The Twin Cities also held the 2016 Ryder Cup, an event already slated to return in 2028. Atlanta last held the Ryder Cup in 1963, when Arnold Palmer was a player-captain and a 23-year-old Jack Nicklaus wasn't yet eligible.
Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics and the College Football Playoff championship this January. It also sold out the Georgia Dome for WrestleMania in 2011.
But Atlanta never has hosted the Summer X Games or WNBA All-Star Game, as Minneapolis did just last summer. Atlanta never has held the NCAA volleyball or wrestling championships, which come to Minneapolis this December and in 2020, respectively.
And Hotlanta sure hasn't hosted the NCAA men's or women's hockey Frozen Four. The Twin Cities crowned champions in both events earlier this year.
"We try to definitely remain humble," Tennant said. "But I think people do notice that we've been on a good run."
When picking the Twin Cities for these major events, organizers often cite the competition venues, the updated airport, corporate support, the army of volunteers and an "urban footprint" with hotels in proximity to the festivities.
Houston and Phoenix have been picked to host the Super Bowl, the men's Final Four, the College Football Playoff, the MLB All-Star Game — but never the women's Final Four.
What differentiates Minneapolis?
"This is the home of women's championships," said Hugh Lombardi, Target Center's general manager.
Target Center is home of the four-time WNBA champion Lynx, and that's where the next NCAA volleyball champion will be crowned. The Gophers volleyball team has been to the Final Four twice in the past three years and currently ranks No. 6 nationally.
By 2022, when women's basketball takes center stage at Target Center, the NCAA will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the federal gender discrimination law.
"I can't imagine a better a better place to celebrate that," said Lindsay Whalen, who took the Gophers to the Final Four as a point guard in 2004 and now coaches the team.
Four days after Whalen's victory lap, it was Jessie Diggins' turn. Minnesota's Olympic gold medalist celebrated the Friday announcement that the World Cup of cross-country skiing will come to Minneapolis' Theodore Wirth Park in 2020.
"We are a community that embraces and celebrates young girls and women who participate in sport," said Julie Manning, the Gophers executive associate athletic director who helped land Minneapolis its first women's Final Four since 1995. "We sold them on the extraordinary number of female leaders across all industries here in this great city."
Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chairwoman of the NCAA women's basketball championship committee, said the sport continues to grow, especially coming off this year's championship game in Columbus, Ohio, where Notre Dame beat Mississippi State at the buzzer.
"The women's Final Four is an opportunity to showcase college women's basketball at the highest level," Lundin said. "And it's great to be in these communities that appreciate that and want that."
Minneapolis' quest to host the College Football Playoff led to a public rejection three years ago. The city had bid for the 2020 event, which would have fallen in succession with the 2018 Super Bowl and 2019 Final Four.
Organizers invited the Twin Cities media to watch the announcement at U.S. Bank Stadium, but the NCAA revealed that it was placing the event farther downstream along the Mississippi, in New Orleans.
"Frankly," Tennant said, "the College Football Playoff organization had some concerns about our ability to maintain that level of commitment from a fundraising and volunteer perspective, etcetera. But we are very interested in having those conversations again."
Last year, with less fanfare, the NCAA skipped a formal bid process and announced that four more future College Football Playoff championship game sites had been picked.
"Minneapolis is definitely on the radar," said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. "We love the Twin Cities. We love the new stadium. The hotels are terrific. The other cities just had a little more to offer."
Asked about Super Bowl LII's impact and the reviews given to Minneapolis, Hancock said, "We heard very good things about it. So I think the Super Bowl was a successful addition to the Twin Cities résumé."
While the College Football Playoff won't come any sooner than 2025, Minneapolis has been rumored as a strong possibility to land WrestleMania in 2020 or 2021.
That event, which has never been to Minnesota in its 34 years, might be easy to mock with its pyrotechnics and "competition," real or otherwise. But it remains wildly popular. The event drew an announced 101,000 fans two years ago to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and an above-capacity 78,000 to the Superdome in New Orleans this April.
Tennant said Minneapolis has bid on WrestleMania in the past. While it technically doesn't have a bid pending now, that could change. "They play their cards close to the vest," Tennant said. "They let cities that are involved know things sort of on a need-to-know basis."
Tennant noted that Patrick Talty, the general manager of U.S. Bank Stadium, previously ran the touring division for WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). "So that certainly helps our chances," Tennant said. "… At the appropriate time, we are certainly interested in pursuing it."
But with all the other events coming to town, Minneapolis better check its calendar first.