by: DAVE CAMPBELL
, Associated Press
- Updated: September 8, 2012 - 1:02 AM
The Minnesota Vikings have made a formal bid to host a Super Bowl.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Friday that the team has applied to host either the 2018, 2019 or 2020 Super Bowls. The 2018 game will be awarded at league meetings in May 2014, and the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls will be picked at the same forum the following two years.
This season's championship game is set for New Orleans, with the 2014 Super Bowl going to New Jersey and 2015 headed to Arizona. The 2016 and 2017 games will be awarded next May.
Minnesota last hosted a Super Bowl in 1992. A new $975 million stadium is going to be built in downtown Minneapolis for the Vikings. The hope is to open it in 2016.
Southern cities have hosted most Super Bowls since the grand game began in 1967, but the NFL has also rewarded markets that built new stadiums with Super Bowls, even in northern climes.
Before the New York Giants and New York Jets serve as joint hosts in less than two years, Indianapolis had the last one and Detroit was the site in 2006.
The Vikings have long touted the opportunity to have the sport's biggest event here as one of the public benefits of funding a replacement for the Metrodome, and they have made no secret of their intent to aggressively pursue a Super Bowl once their new stadium was secured. The agreement was reached in May with the state, the city of Minneapolis and the team.
The $975 million project calls for an indoor stadium; plans do not call for a retractable roof at this point.
The league considers several factors in awarding these games, including viable practice sites nearby, a venue for the fan event known as the NFL Experience, and about 20,000 hotel rooms within an hour drive of the stadium.