Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Transportation and Super Bowl LII

December 2017

On the weekend of February 4, 2018, the hordes will descend upon Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee estimates that there will be more than 1 million visitors to the Bold North™ over the ten days of Super Bowl festivities (January 26 – February 4).

A great dance is going on in preparation for this event. Minnesotans are being solicited to rent out their homes, apartments, and condos for the week. In addition, fixed based operators at all the local airports are soliciting hanger space and ramp space to park aircraft during the week.

Naturally, FMJ’s Transportation & Logistics attorneys were interested in learning more about what Minneapolis and the Host Committee are expecting in terms of transportation numbers for one of the largest events to take place in the Twin Cities in recent years. So, we sat down with the Host Committee’s Operations Manager, Kevin Wright, who gave us some insight on the projected transportation statistics for Super Bowl LII.

  • The Host Committee is expecting over 1,000 general aviation aircraft to come into the Twin Cities area.
  • Approximately 20 airports stretching across Minnesota and Wisconsin will help support these additional general aviation flights.
  • Over 300 private coach buses will be utilized throughout the 10 day period of Super Bowl activities.
  • The Host Committee is encouraging fans to use metro transit as it is the best way to reach downtown Minneapolis as there will be expanded schedules and special Super Bowl only passes.
  • On Monday, February 5, an estimated 60,000 people will travel through Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

With these staggering numbers in mind, we couldn’t help but wonder how a metropolitan area and an organization charged with coordinating the logistics of such an inundation of fans that expect a smoothly operated and coordinated event and generally don’t consider the strain that such an increase in traffic can have on a metropolitan area and its transportation facilities.

In Part II of this series, we will explore how a fixed based operator and aviation services company handled a recent large sporting event, the Ryder Cup, which brought many fans, players, media, and the like to the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. Stay tuned to read more next month.