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What could we do to make Minneapolis (and St. Paul) better for the Super Bowl?

We asked for suggestions (saying you needn’t bother with those pesky things like money or practicality) and you did not disappoint. Here are some of the responses we received via e-mail.

There’s only three weeks and change to get this done. Let’s get moving!

With all of our Nordic heritage, it would be great to build something along the lines of the semi-permanent medieval village used for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, but Nordic-themed. Think of it — an entire Nordic village with shops selling lefse and other Nordic cuisine. Maybe a Viking weapons-maker a little down the way, hammering out massive swords and axes near a warm fire. In the center could be our massive ice castle.


Nice Ride will install its bicycles around the hotels and football stadium. As tourists exit the hotels, valets will cheerfully insist that to experience the true Minnesota culture, they need to bicycle to the stadium. The volunteer corps will eagerly point the riders to the bike lanes designated by the pylons purposefully colored white to obscure their location during whiteouts. The Minneapolis street department will stand ready to pave the bike lanes with snow and ice in case clement weather prevails.


Many years ago when we had just a couple skyways there was talk of placing a dome above the city. That idea went nowhere. Today with most of the downtown buildings connected with skyways we do have a domed city, so let’s brag about it.


I would like to see more of an art piece that depicts the birthplace of Minneapolis and something that honors the original peoples and settlers that transformed this beautiful city. I think a bronze or stone piece that has historical accuracy near St. Anthony Falls would remind visitors and locals of our shared history and interconnectedness.


Every major city needs a large Ferris wheel. Ours could be located outside the Government Center where our failed fountain was located. Maybe permanent zip lines instead of more skyways.


Add statues of Paul Bunyan or the Pillsbury Doughboy. Or what about the Hamm’s bear or a giant Nut Goodie?

Jon B.

Since out-of-towners are going to perceive that we inexplicably celebrate misery by embracing winter, why not showcase the hardships of our Other Season and its unsung heroes? Let’s bring out MnDOT’s road repair workers and everything related that is orange or yellow. Somewhere, many thousands of road barrels, traffic cones and signage are languishing unused in some warehouse that has to rival the size of U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Andersons

I would like to create the Alan Page exhibit as an art trail like the one in Chicago, throughout the entire city, unique, meaningful, powerful. ... Perhaps with a statue of Chief Justice Page standing with his hand on the shoulder of a kneeling Page as a player in the stadium park. While we don’t have the time and money to get it done in 28 days I believe this may be worth serious conversation — afterward.


Pass out virtual headsets and see famous Minnesotans saying “Welcome to the Super Bowl” in a rapid montage. Make it a guess-who game: Prince, Judy Garland, Jesse Ventura, Charles Schulz, Bob Dylan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josh Hartnett, Loni Anderson, Kevin Sorbo, Marion Ross, James Arness, et cetera.


James Lileks • 612-673-7858 • @Lileks