Matt Peckham, Opinions Editor
The Super Bowl coming to Minneapolis will have plenty of spectacles. There will be rings and trophies. ESPN reports a feel-good story of a 99 year-old Viking fan who was given free tickets to the game by the NFL commissioner. Roughly $250 million of advertisements, according to “Sports Illustrated,” will flash shots of U.S Bank Stadium which, per its website, cost over a billion dollars. Plus, for those unfamiliar with football, a person will be tackled to the ground during every play unless someone scores. However, despite the sights, there are a few interesting things that people in Minneapolis will not see on Super Bowl Sunday: homeless people.
The Super Bowl has rented facilities from First Covenant Church, a 60-bed homeless shelter across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium which will move its residents to a church farther from the stadium per MPR. This may be seen as an act of philanthropy in that it is securing funds for a shelter or as an act of socio-economic based crowd control.
There will not be a transit strike. Using the Super Bowl as leverage, transit workers threatened to strike during the game unless a new contract deal was reached. The deal was completed, and “Star Tribune” reports that it gives workers 2.5 percent raises per year for three years.
A national anthem protest is unlikely. Despite NBC stating that it would air footage of players if they were to kneel during the anthem, “Washington Post” reports that none of teams with protesting players remain. There will, hopefully, not be a waste bin shortage. ABC claims that 2100 additional trash/ recycling/organics bins have been placed in U.S Bank Stadium. This measure is to encourage people to use properly marked waste receptacles so that improper disposal does not compromise recycled waste.
Fewer people in Minneapolis will be able to give good directions. 125,000 visitors will visit the Twin Cities for the Super Bowl as estimated by Rockport Analytics. This population influx will be similar to if Saint Paul’s population grew 50% overnight.
The Super Bowl will shift homeless people while paying the bills for the facilities that they rely on. It will be driven around and driven to by transit workers who used the event to secure a contract. NBC’s promise to air a national anthem protest will likely go unused. These are the contentions that will go unseen in Minneapolis by a hundred thousand new eyes.
This article first appeared in the Friday, January 19, 2018, Edition of The Echo.