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Even without Vikings in game, Super Bowl to help team

Mnnesota Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley talks to reporters in 2015 as U.S. Bank Stadium was being completed. Forum News Service.1 / 10
U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, with the city visible through massive glass doors and windows on the west end, uses both clear roof panels and modern television lights to allow fans to enjoy temperature-controlled weather while natural light falls on the field. Minnesota Vikings photo2 / 10
Super Bowl visitors can stroll around downtown Minneapolis to view the free Super Bowl Live exhibit that will include giant ice Roman numberals to illustrate that it will be the 52nd champioinship game. Drawing provided by Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee3 / 10
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A view from ground level of U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the 2018 Super Bowl, during the Nov. 19, 2017, game as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) throws against the Los Angeles Rams. Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today5 / 10
U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, with the city visible through massive glass doors and windows on the west end, uses both clear roof panels and modern television lights to allow fans to enjoy temperature-controlled weather while natural light falls on the field. Minnesota Vikings photo6 / 10
Volunteer guides, many from greater Minnesota, will be stationed in downtown Minneapolis in the days leading up to the Feb. 4, 2018, Super Bowl to show visitors how to get to attractions, such as this snow globe. Drawing provided by Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee7 / 10
Aerial view from late June 2016 shows new U.S. Bank Stadium, with downtown Minneapolis in the background. Minnesota Vikings photo8 / 10
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U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, with the city visible through massive glass doors and windows on the west end, uses both clear roof panels and modern television lights to allow fans to enjoy temperature-controlled weather while natural light falls on the field. Minnesota Vikings photo10 / 10

MINNEAPOLIS—The Minnesota Vikings will not play in Super Bowl LII, but team officials say that merely hosting one in their home stadium will result in an off-field victory.

"We will see the Vikings brand ... more prevalent than in any other host city," Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said, so Super Bowl television viewers will know that U.S. Bank Stadium is home to the Vikings.

The team may not receive an immediate financial benefit for its Super Bowl investment, but team officials see it as a continuation of years of work that started long ago when they began lobbying state officials for a new stadium.

"Vikings have been involved in this every step of the way," Bagley said, starting to work on landing a Super Bowl right after the deal to construct the stadium came in 2012. "We immediately moved to try to put us in the position to host the Super Bowl. ... We think our community deserves a shot at the Super Bowl."

The state-owned stadium, which cost more than $1 billion, received nearly half of its funding from tax money.

The team contributed $1.5 million to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee as one of several partners to the organizing group, and Bagley said the National Football League team has contributed more since.

The Vikings effort will help with the state with relations with other firms and NFL teams.

The biggest benefit, Bagley said, is "what it does for the community with hundreds of millions of people watching throughout the world."

The Super Bowl fits into the Vikings three major goals, the vice president said: winning championships, providing a good fan experience and giving back to the community.

Once the Super Bowl is history, the stadium will look ahead to hosting the X Games and the Final Four, college basketball's championship tournament.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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