We’ve known that the NFL can get just about anything it asks for from Super Bowl bidders — including the buildings to play them in.
But a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune details the level of freebies the NFL requires to award a Super Bowl.
Among the items detailed in the 153-page report include police escorts for team owners in town for the event, 35,000 parking spaces, suites in the high-end hotels downtown and billboards. That the adjective free goes in front of each of those items goes without saying at this point.
The NFL didn’t comment on the report, and a source with the host committee would only tell the paper that most of the items on the wish list were agreed to.
And it’s not just the week of the game in which the NFL is standing there with its hand out.
Among the requests were free (there’s that word again) access to three “top quality golf courses during the summer and fall before the game.
The host committee said it secured $30 million in private pledges to help offseason public costs (i.e. taxpayer dollars), but the committee refused to give details of its fundraising.
“This is wrong,” former Gov. Arne Carlson said. “This is a huge public event. It should be transparent. We should know how the NFL operates.”
Current officials would also be upset, if they knew exactly what to be upset about.
A spokeswoman for mayor Betsy Hodges’ office said they didn’t know what the committee agreed to provide.
“We haven’t seen the bid, so we don’t know what was agreed to,” said Kate Brickman, Hodges’ spokeswoman.
Now they can take a look, and realize exactly what they’re paying for.
And with so many cities lined up to throw money at the NFL for the right to host the game — as well as building the stadiums to play them in — expect the NFL to ask for more and more until someone tells them no.