A Football Fan’s Definitive Travel Guide to Minnesota (Site of the 2018 Super Bowl)

The New England Patriots will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday 4 February 2018 in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Here’s your definitive travel guide to special events, weather, sightseeing, accommodation, food, and transportation.  

nfl-minnesota-vikings-US_Bank_Stadium_credit_Darb02
U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, site of the 2018 Super Bowl. Photo Credit: Darb02.

American Football

After defeating the highly favoured Minnesota Vikings by a decisive score of 38 to 7 in the American Football Conference championship, the underdog Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the New England Patriots.

The Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars by a far slimmer margin of 24 to 20 in the National Football Conference championship.

For the Patriots, participating in a Super Bowl is like taking a walk down Memory Lane. The Pats have made nine Super Bowl appearances, more than any other NFL team.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, have walked away with the championship six times, against five for the Pats.

The Eagles have made only two trips to the Super Bowl, losing both times – in 1980 and 2004.

More Than Football

There is more to the Super Bowl than football. At the game itself, a lot of attention is paid to who is going to perform and what is going to happen at halftime.

Pop Singer Pink will sing the National Anthem, Justin Timberlake will perform at halftime, and 2016 Tony Award Winner Leslie Odom, Junior, will sing America the Beautiful.

In the runup to the game, however, the city hosting the event also becomes a sort of “party central” as football fans from across the country – and around the world – pour in to witness the biggest sporting event of the year in the United States.

How about going ice-skating, taking a polar plunge, or zip-riding across the Mississippi River while you wait for Super Bowl Sunday?

Special Events

Super Bowl LIVE – a 10-day celebration of food, winter adventure, and free concerts along Minneapolis’s key shopping and entertainment strip. Friday 26 January to Sunday 4 February at Nicollet Mall.

Super Bowl Experience (driven by Genesis) – an interactive theme park with participatory games, youth football clinics, NFL merchandise, autograph sessions, and several other activities. Saturday 27 January to  Saturday 3 February at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Weather Forecast

If you’re planning to attend the Super Bowl, make sure to pack warm clothes. While the stadium will be heated to comfortable levels, it’s going to be brutally cold outside.

Fans usually start arriving in the host city a week before the Super Bowl, so here is an extended forecast for Super Bowl Week.

Temperatures are in Fahrenheit. In case you’re not familiar with Fahrenheit, 32 degrees F equals 0 degrees Celsius.

  • Saturday 27 January – partly sunny with a high of 34 degrees and a low of 11 degrees.
  • Sunday 28 January – partly sunny with a high of 20 degrees and a low of 5 degrees
  • Monday 29 January – mostly sunny with a high of 17 degrees and a low of 5 degrees.
  • Tuesday 30 January – mostly cloudy with a high of 29 degrees and a low of 26 degrees.
  • Wednesday 31 January – snow and possible sleet with a high of 33 degrees and a low of 10 degrees.
  • Thursday 1 February – cloudy and sunny with a high of 16 degrees and a low of 3 degrees.
  • Friday 2 February – mostly cloudy with snow flurries and a high of 17 degrees and a low of 11 degrees
  • Saturday 3 February – chances of snow showers with a high of 21 degrees and a low of 12 degrees.
  • Super Bowl Sunday – overcast with snow flurries with a high of 11 degrees and a low of 3 degrees
  • Monday 5 February – partly sunny with a high of 16 degrees and a low of -4 degrees.

Recommended: Football Fan Speaks Out, Let’s Hear it for Warm Weather Super Bowls!>>

Top 10 Things to See and Do in the Bold North

As long as you’re heading to the Bold North to watch the Super Bowl, why not schedule a few extra days and discover some of the fascinating things to see and do in the Twin Cities?

image-of-USA_Minneapolis_Minnesota_-American_Swedish_Institute_Credit_Jerry
The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo Credit: Jerry.

 

  1. Minneapolis Institute of Art – 2400 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 870-3131.
  2. Cathedral of Saint Paul – 239 Selby Avene, Saint Paul, MN. Tel: (651) 228-1766.
  3. Mall of America – 60 East Broadway, Level 2, Bloomington, MN. Tel: (952) 883-8800.
  4. Science Museum of Minnesota – 120 Kellogg Blvd West, Saint Paul, MN. (651) 221-9444.
  5. Mill City Museum – 704 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 341-7555.
  6. American Swedish Institute – 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 871-4907.
  7. Nickelodeon Universe – 5000 Center Court, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN. Tel: (952) 883-8600.
  8. James J. Hill House – 240 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN. Tel: (651) 297-2555.
  9. Basilica of Saint Mary – 88 North 17th Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612)-333-1381.
  10. Sealife Minnesota – 120 East Broadway, East Entrance, Level One, Bloomington, MN. Tel: (952) 853-0612.

The above attractions are all indoors. If you can brave the cold, Minneapolis is a Winter Wonderland this time of year.

You can always check out the ice sculptures and amble through the lovely parks with their frozen lakes and waterfalls.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of hotels and motels at all price points across the Twin Cities. If you want to be as close as possible to the action, these hotels are all within 0.7 miles of U.S. Bank Stadium.

These hotel and motels have been listed because of their proximity to the stadium.

Their inclusion should not be considered a recommendation. Do your own due diligence, checking out websites and guest reviews before booking a room.

image-of-crowne-plaza-downtown-minneapolis-northstar-hotel
Crowne Plaza Northstar, a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  1. Radisson Red Minneapolis – 609 South 3rd Street, Minneapolis, MN.  0.3 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com 
  2. aloft Minneapolis900 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 0.3 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  3. Best Western Plus the Normandy Inn and Suites405 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN. 0.4  miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  4. Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Downtown425 South 7th St, Minneapolis, MN. 0.4  miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  5. Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown1500 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 0.5 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  6. Residence Inn Minneapolis Downtown at the Depot by Marriott425 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN. 0.5 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  7. Luminn Hotel Minneapolis219 South 4th Street, Minneapolis, MN. 0.5 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. miles from U.S. Bank Stadium Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  8. Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis615 2nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 0.6 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  9. Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar Downtown618 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 0.6 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com
  10. Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, the Depot225 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 0.6 miles from U.S. Bank Stadium. Check room rates and guest reviews on your favourite hotel booking website: TripAdvisor or Hotels.com 

Eat Like a Local

The Twin Cities have a diverse culinary scene, and because they are surrounded by fertile farmland, you can expect a decidedly farm to fork mindset.

According to Meet Minneapolis, the city specializes in “comfort food”, and there is a strong Nordic influence. Here’s a quick guide to some local favourites …

  • Juicy Lucy – a cheese-stuffed hamburger.
  • Tater Tot Hotdish – a casserole topped with crispy taters (potatoes).
  • Welleye – the most popular fish in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!
  • Cheese Curds – cheese that has been deep-fat fried, it is served as an appetizer or a side dish.
  • Wild Rice – you’ll find dishes made with locally grown wild rice ranging from soups to pancakes, burgers to porridge.
  • Scandinavian Cuisine – there’s a reason why the Twin Cities’ football team is called the Vikings. Make sure to try some Scandinavian cuisine while you’re in town!

You can “eat like a local” at the following eateries …

  • Matt’s Bar – famous for its mouth-watering Juicy Lucys. 3500 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 722-7072.
  • The Bulldog Downtown – famous for its yummy tater tot hotdish. 111 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 339-0638.
  • Common Roots Cafe – famous for its succulent wild rice burgers. 2558 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 871-2360.
  • Fire Lake Grill House and Cocktail Bar – famous for its wild-rice crusted welleye. 31 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 216-3473.
  • Red Cow Restaurant and Bar – famous for cheese curds, which you can dip in their signature berry ketchup. 3624 West 50th Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 767-4411.
  • Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace – famous for authentic Scandinavian breads, sausages, and cheeses. 1601 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 729-9333.

The following eateries serve what TripAdvisor calls “local cuisine”. They are among the most popular with readers of the website.

  • Butcher and the Boar – steaks and smoked meats sourced from local farms. 1121 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 238-8888.
  • Pizzeria Lola – an Italian pizza joint opened by a Korean immigrant. 5557 Xerxes Avene South, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 424-8338.
  • 112 Eatery – American. 112 North Third Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 343-7696.
  •  Hell’s Kitchen – American. 80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 332-4700.
  • Spoon and Stable – 211 North 1st Street, Minneapolis, MN. Tel: (612) 224-9850.

Transportation

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Delta Airlines Boeing 767 in flight. The airline accounts for more than 70% of passenger traffic at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

Airlines are adding additional flights to their schedules at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport for football fans wanting to attend the Super Bowl.

Delta Airlines, the dominant carrier at MSP, will add 21 additional flights to the Twin Cities for Super Bowl LII. The airport is the airline’s second largest hub after Atlanta.

The airline will add four flights from both Boston Logan International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport on Friday and one extra flight from both airports on Saturday.

The airline is adding six additional flights from MSP to Boston and five extra flights to Philadelphia on Monday.

United Airlines will add 10 additional flights to MSP on Friday, including two from Los Angeles, two from Newark, and one each from Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington Dulles.

The airline will add six additional flights to MSP on Saturday, including one each from Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Providence, and San Francisco.

The airline will add 12 additional flights from MSP on Monday, including two to New York, Washington Dulles, and San Francisco, and one to Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Providence.

Southwest Airlines is adding two flights on Monday from the Twin Cities to both Boston and Philadelphia.

American Airlines also plies the Philadelphia – MSP route, but so far has not mentioned adding any flights.

Nearly 500 flights were cancelled at MSP on 22 January, accounting for 40% of its total, owing to a severe winter storm.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen in the runup to the Super Bowl!

The Airport

image-of_Minneapolis_St._Paul_International_Airport_credit-John-Cumming
The Blue Line of the light rail Metro Transit connects the airport with downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of AmericaPhoto Credit: John Cummings.

Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport is located within 10 miles, or 16 kilometres, of both cities.

MSP is the 16th busiest airport in the United States. Fully 42% of passengers flying through the airport are through passengers, making connections to and from other travel destinations.

The airport is a hub for Delta Airlines, which accounts for more than70% of traffic, and Sun Country Airlines. A total of 17 domestic and foreign carriers offer scheduled service to destinations throughout Canada, Mexico, and the United States – as well as Asia and Europe.

The airport has two terminals, which are interconnected by an around-the-clock shuttle service. They also have links to several other forms of transportation, including several large parking ramps.

Most other connections are made at the Hub Building and adjacent Transit Center, which has city and shuttle bus taxi, light rail, and rental car services.

The light rail Metro Transit Blue Line connects the airport with downtown Minneapolis and the Mall of America.

Amtrak

As an alternative to flying to the Twin Cities, Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul is a part of the Amtrak national train system.

Getting Around

image-of-minneapolis-metro-transit-light-rail-in-snow-credit-joseph-amaker
The Hiawatha Line of Metro Transit’s light rail train passes through Minneapolis, which has just left Government Plaza station. Photo Credit: Joseph Amaker.

Minneapolis has an award-winning transit system. In addition to light rail and buses, there are taxis, Uber, Lyft, and bike rentals on the streets with dedicated bike lanes all over town.

Metro Transit operates one of the largest public transportation systems in the country. Fares range from US$2.00 to US$3.25, depending on the time of day.

The fare for short trips within the city’s downtown zone is just 50 cents.

Keep an eye out for buses marked “Free Ride”! They are free when you board along Nicollet Mall or at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Additional transport options will be available to coincide with the Super Bowl and the 10-day Bold North Festival.

Keep in mind that owing to road closures, some routes may be diverted during this period.

Parking

Parking for sedans and SUVs at U.S. Bank Stadium for Super Bowl LII will be limited. To guarantee a spot, you should purchase a parking spot in advance.

Please note: tailgating will not be allowed on Super Bowl Sunday.

If you will be driving an oversized vehicle to the game, you should purchase parking at the University of Minnesota.

Vehicles for hire will not be allowed to drop off or pick up sports fans at the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.

Spot Hero will offer guaranteed parking at selected locations around Minneapolis.

Where to Root for the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles

The 2018 Super Bowl will be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 4 February 2018. It will be telecast on live television around the world.

This post contains affiliate links.

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One Reply to “A Football Fan’s Definitive Travel Guide to Minnesota (Site of the 2018 Super Bowl)”

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