Super Bowl organizers on defensive over NFL requests

Organizers of the 2018 Super Bowl in Minnesota are defending their position amid a published report that detailed perks the National Football League requested of cities bidding for the game.

The Minnesota bid committee released a statement saying it did not agree to every specification in a 154-page document drafted by the NFL last November. But the Minnesota officials have refused to make their bid proposal public, citing state data laws allowing privacy in competitive bidding situations like this one. The Minneapolis Star Tribune obtained and quoted from the NFL document for its report Sunday.

The story highlighted requests for free police escorts, billboards, courtesy cars and high-end hotel rooms as well as rules regarding vendors and game-day revenue. The league keeps 100 percent of the money from ticket sales.

Minnesota beat out Indianapolis and New Orleans for the right to host the game, scoring a signature event to help break in the Minnesota Vikings’ new $1 billion publicly subsidized stadium.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee, made up of business and civic leaders, stressed that it will use private fundraising to cover local costs associated with the game. The committee widely released a statement Monday that staff members say was given to the Star Tribune in the course of its reporting.

“Neither the city nor the state will be responsible for additional public costs such as increased security, public infrastructure or police,” according to the statement, which plays up the expected influx of visitors and immense worldwide attention from the Super Bowl.

The Star Tribune reported that the 16 categories of bid specifications require a potential host city to mark “Yes” or “No” after each section to indicate whether it “agrees to all conditions.” The host committee won’t say which conditions it agreed to and documents showing that might not become public until after the Super Bowl is held.