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Minnesota steps up bid for 2018 Super Bowl

NFL American football franchise the Minnesota Vikings and state Governor Mark Dayton have stepped up their bid to bring the Super Bowl back to Minneapolis for the first time since 1992 by establishing a formal bid committee for the 2018 game.

The establishment of the committee follows the National Football League’s (NFL) October announcement that Minnesota was one of three finalists, along with Indianapolis and New Orleans, to host Super Bowl LII. The group will be charged with developing a full proposal to bring the game to the new Vikings stadium scheduled to open in Minneapolis in 2016. The final selection for the location of the February 4, 2018 game will be announced in May following the NFL Owners Meetings in Atlanta.

“As an organisation, we will work incredibly hard to secure the world’s marquee sporting event for Minnesota,” Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said. “City and state leaders were extremely collaborative on the new stadium effort, and this community deserves to host a Super Bowl and to receive the significant economic impact that comes with the game.”

The announcement comes after the Vikings were last week boosted by the news that the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a last-minute legal challenge that threatened to delay the development of their new stadium. The state planned to begin selling $468m (€343m) of bonds on January 13 to support the development of the 65,000-seat venue, which will cost a total of $975m and is set to open for the 2016 season. However, former mayoral candidate Douglas Mann, his wife Linda, and former city school board member David Tilsen filed a lawsuit in the Minnesota Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the facility’s funding plan – a challenge that was ultimately dismissed.

If Minnesota is selected as host of the 2018 game, it will be only the second time in NFL history and the first time since Super Bowl XXVI saw the Washington Redskins defeat the Buffalo Bills 37-24 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The 2014 Super Bowl will see the Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday. The Arizona Cardinals’ University of Phoenix Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers’ soon-to-be-completed Levi’s Stadium and the Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium will host the 2015, 2016 and 2017 games.