Vikings Lester Bagley Takes Minneapolis from Metrodome to Super Bowl
It feels like it was yesterday that the Metrodome was standing and Lester Bagley was doing all he could to help the city get US Bank Stadium. Now the Super Bowl has arrived.
Bagley, who is the Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, was instrumental in getting US Bank Stadium built in Minneapolis. The process started around the turn of the millennium and he always envisioned bringing the Super Bowl back to Minnesota.
"From the day we started talking about it to the day we opened it was about 16 years. But during that 16 year span this is what we envisioned. A beautiful stadium and hosting a Super Bowl. It was all part of our game plan. The Super Bowl coming to our market is awesome." - Bagley
The Super Bowl bid was awarded to Minneapolis in 2014 with the game set for 2018. During that time, Bagley and the rest of the Vikings organization helped develop the foundation for the weekend's events.
"Once we got the stadium passed in 2012 we went right to the NFL and told them that our city deserved a Super Bowl. We put a bid together and made our case. Once we found out that the weather wouldn't be a factor with how they choose who host the Super Bowl, we embraced the 'Bold North' and wanted to make it unique to the market."
If things would have turned out a little differently with the NFC Championship Game, Bagley says that the setup and weekend's events in regards to the Super Bowl wouldn't have changed too much around Minneapolis.
"It would have been more heavy lifting on the NFL more than the Vikings. Coordinating playoff games and the Super Bowl itself. It all matters on what happens on the football field. Our guys had an historic season, but it would have just been a little more intense with ticket demand and stuff." - Bagley
Even without the Vikings in the big game, the city of Minneapolis continues to embrace the Super Bowl being in town. The town is still expecting a ton of people to make their way to the cities for the rest of the week and the game itself.
It's the first time since 1992 that the city has hosted the biggest even the NFL has to offer. That idea wouldn't have been possible again without securing a brand new stadium. For Bagley, it's something to be proud of as he helped take the city from the Metrodome to the Super Bowl.