Sid Hartman
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The amazing thing about the first Super Bowl held in Minneapolis back in 1992 was the number of media people who, after visiting here for the big game, started to take regular vacations to the Twin Cities area.

Look for the same thing to happen after the game is held here in February, when Minneapolis will be put on the biggest television stage that the world has.

The exposure is unbelievable as more than 5,000 media members will be here and the Minneapolis dateline will be in papers all over the country and the world.

It is probably the one event that gives more exposure to a city than a Final Four, Stanley Cup Final, NBA Finals or World Series.

In 2016, the Su­per Bowl was by far the most-viewed tel­e­vi­sion e­vent in the country, with more than 111 mil­lion peo­ple tun­ing in. The next-clos­est e­vent was the Su­per Bowl post­game show, with 70 million view­ers.

Rest as­sured that the Wilf family, own­ers of the Vi­kings, are de­ter­mined to make this e­vent may­be the best Su­per Bowl ever held.

An­oth­er thing that the e­vent will do for this area is show­case U.S. Bank Stadium, and bring even more events to this city had the big show not been staged here.

NFL in con­trol

Les­ter Bag­ley, the Vi­kings ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent, said that while Min­ne­ap­olis will be the host city for the Su­per Bowl and the 10 days’ worth of events lead­ing up to the game, make no mis­take that this is an NFL pro­duc­tion — not a Vi­kings pro­duc­tion.

“There are sev­er­al hun­dred folks that come here for a cou­ple of months, work­ers that come in to get the sta­di­um and the ven­ue and e­vent set up,” Bag­ley said. “The NFL events of­fice, which is [NFL Seni­or Vice Pres­i­dent] Peter O’Reil­ly, who runs the Su­per Bowl, that crew will set up an of­fice very close to the sta­di­um. Right across the street from the sta­di­um they’ll have a for­mal of­fice in our of­fice build­ing. They’ll have four or five floors. It’s quite the pro­duc­tion and quite the en­ter­prise. They’re work­ing on se­cur­ing that right now.

“A lot of work [will be] going on in the sta­di­um with add­ing seats and max­i­miz­ing the space. And there are the events and the lo­gis­tics and the traf­fic and work­ing with the local law en­force­ment.”

Most of the ma­jor pub­lic events will take place on Ni­col­let Mall, Bag­ley said, with “Su­per Bowl Live” be­ing the epicenter of the Su­per Bowl week.

“We’re going to put on a great show and intro­duce the world to Bold North and have some in­door/out­door ac­tives be­ing sched­uled, as well,” he said. “It’s a sig­nifi­cant eco­nom­ic im­pact to have a Su­per Bowl here, $400 mil­lion-plus. It’s going to be hec­tic with a lot of peo­ple in the mar­ket but a pret­ty good time of the year to have 100,000 peo­ple come into the mar­ket. Feb­rua­ry is not typ­i­cal­ly a great time for tour­ists, as you know.”

Mean­while, the Mall of America prob­a­bly will break every re­cord they’ve had for sales, be­cause the mall is going to be the host site for me­di­a day events and press con­fer­ences for the Su­per Bowl.

Tick­ets will be tough

While it is well-known that Su­per Bowl tick­ets are some of the most ex­pen­sive in the world, Bag­ley said that the prices won’t be set for a­while. The half­time per­form­er also won’t be named un­til later this fall.

When it comes to Vikings season ticket holders, Bagley said there is one way that they’ll have a much better chance to get seats at the game.

“In terms of Vi­kings sea­son tick­ets, the only op­por­tu­ni­ty Vi­kings sea­son tick­et hold­ers have is if the Vi­kings are in the Su­per Bowl — and let’s hope that’s the case — then there will be a pro­gram we’ll under­take,” he said. “But a­gain, the NFL takes all the tick­ets, and dis­tri­butes them and we’re work­ing with them on a lot­ter­y pro­gram that we’ll hope­ful­ly an­nounce in the next cou­ple of months a­bout how that will work.”

Sid Hartman can be heard on WCCO AM-830 at 8:40 a.m. Monday and Friday, 2 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. E-mail: shartman@startribune.com