ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Communities an hour or more from Minneapolis are already feeling the economic impact generated by the 2018 NFL Super Bowl.

Minnesota Super Bowl LII Host Committee spokesman Mike Howard told the St. Cloud Times (http://on.sctimes.com/2q2VPs6) regional areas will see economic benefits from the event.

“There are about 40,000 hotel rooms in the Twin Cities metro,” Howard said. “We are expecting about a million people to visit the area for the Super Bowl. So St. Cloud can definitely expect some ripple effects.”

St. Cloud Regional Airport director Bill Towle said the airport is preparing for a rush in traffic.

“(Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport) is big, but it has a limited amount of parking,” Towle said. “So we are preparing to become that jumping off point for parking airplanes. It’s possible that aircrafts could choose to land at a reliever airport (near MSP) and take off to come up here and park. But my thoughts are planes will want to land where they can park.”

St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director executive director Julie Lunning said that hotels in the city are nearly full for the weekend of the big game at U.S. Bank Stadium. But area hotels are more likely be filled with people in business attire than fans wearing sports jerseys.

“When the Twin Cities successfully received the bid they already had a lot of conventions booked,” Lunning said. “So a lot of those convention attendees were displaced to areas like St. Cloud.”

Lunning anticipates the rooms still available for Super Bowl weekend will soon be filled up.

“February is already a busy time for the area,” Lunning said. “And it will be a wonderful opportunity for the area to get even more business at that time through added conventions. These visitors will be in our community, using city amenities and shopping and eating at local businesses. Having Minnesota host the Super Bowl is extraordinary for everyone, not just for the Twin Cities.”


Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com