When the confetti drops Feb. 4 inside U.S. Bank Stadium, a massive dance party will rage 25 miles south of Super Bowl LII in what's shaping up to be the suburban hub for gameday celebrations.
Thousands of entertainment seekers are expected to make the trek to Prior Lake that week for the chance to hobnob with celebrities at Club Nomadic, the glitzy new pop-up music venue at the expanded Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.
"They'll want to keep the party going," said Alison Fogarty, Mystic Lake's vice president of marketing. "It feels just like going to a nightclub in Vegas, only much larger."
The high-dollar concert series offers national exposure to Mystic Lake at a time when the hotel is touting its $90 million addition. All 180 new rooms in the nine-story luxury hotel tower are booked for Super Bowl weekend — and have been for months. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community now owns and operates the second-largest hotel in the Twin Cities metro. The regional destination has helped promote Prior Lake as an ideal place for traveling football fans to stay and play.
Club Nomadic's "white glove" soirees will serve as the south metro's largest draw, beckoning as many as 9,500 concertgoers a night for four consecutive days. The venue's concrete floors, winterized metallic walls and VIP balconies have taken shape as workers race to complete the stage and interior decorating.
Mike Lamprides, director of design and construction at Nomadic Entertainment, said the standing mezzanine levels will provide ticket holders a rare up-close and personal view of their favorite artists — including headliners Gwen Stefani, the Chainsmokers and country act Florida Georgia Line.
"This is not a typical concert," Lamprides said. "Every angle of this building is a one-of-a-kind experience."
Canterbury Park, Shakopee's racetrack, also plans to cash in on the action.
As part of a long-standing agreement with Mystic Lake, the track will operate a shuttle service from its parking lot to the casino steps until the wee hours during Club Nomadic's run. While guests wait for a ride, they'll be invited inside for a cocktail and hand of blackjack at the track's casino.
"We don't want it to feel like they're walking into a bus station," said Mary Pat Monson, Canterbury's special events senior manager. "I'm hoping it's a kickoff to the whole night."
After the quick trip to Mystic Lake, revelers can explore the new event space before heading to the dance floor.
Prior Lake Mayor Kurt Briggs plans to spend hours welcoming travelers from a souped-up icehouse on the Mystic Lake casino floor and handing out gift certificates for local establishments. It's all designed to persuade visitors to venture into town.
"Folks need to know who we are," said Briggs. "We're not simply a city south of the river anymore."
Prior Lake has scheduled a variety of activities leading up to the championship game.
On Jan. 31, popular lakeside eatery Charlie's on Prior is hosting a fundraiser for the Children's Miracle Network they're promoting as the Super Lake Experience. For $200 a pop, locals can mingle with such Vikings alumni and NFL Hall of Famers as Carl Eller and Ron Yary while their children ride on snowmobiles and learn to ice fish.
Then on Thursday, Feb. 1, a Ladies Night Out for women 21 and over seeks to draw vacationers to downtown boutiques. And a hot dish competition Feb. 2 will play off one of Minnesota's most cherished potluck traditions.
Festivities culminate Saturday, Feb. 3, when families are invited to Lakefront Park for carriage rides, ice skating, sledding and cross-country skiing.
"It's an opportunity to embrace our Minnesota weather," said Sandi Fleck, president of the Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce. "You never know, some of them might come back during in the summer; they might move here."
In neighboring Shakopee, three of the city's nine hotels have contracted with the NFL to reserve blocks of rooms. Mayor Bill Mars is pitching the city as a short ride away from "the hustle and bustle of Minneapolis."
But should the Minnesota Vikings make it to the Super Bowl and play for a title on home turf, area leaders say they would scramble to intensify marketing efforts and organize game-watching parties.
"It's long overdue," said Angie Whitcomb, Shakopee's Chamber of Commerce president. "Every bar in every town in this state will be packed."
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648