City leaders again discuss possibility of Super Bowl in Charlotte

by: Jenna Deery Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte city leaders are discussing the possibility of a Super Bowl after a trip with the Chamber of Commerce to Minneapolis.

They take a trip every year with other business leaders and public officials to learn about how other cities operate and engage in economic development.

During this year's trip, officials in Minneapolis gave a presentation to the group about how their community was able to land the 2018 Super Bowl.

City leaders told Eyewitness News their trip gave them more information and reinforced what they already knew; it would take a lot of money to make a run for the big game.

"We learned that it is a huge, huge competition. The Super Bowl is a very coveted event," said Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble.

Officials in Minneapolis said the city's light rail expansion helped win the bid, along with raising $30 million from its corporate community. Minnesota state lawmakers also approved the state paying for nearly half of a new $1 billion domed stadium where the Minnesota Vikings will also play.

"There is a huge economic impact and economic return, but it is also a huge investment to go after the Super Bowl," said Kimble.

Nearly $88 million tax dollars are being spent now for renovations at Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte, but they still may not meet the NFL requirements for a Super Bowl. Those requirements include a dome depending on the host city's weather patterns during the week of the game and at least 70,000 seats for spectators. Right now, BOA stadium can hold 73,778.
 
The league also requires a certain number of hotel rooms within a 60-minute driving radius of the stadium. Charlotte would need around 26,000 rooms to comply.
 
Sid Smith with the Charlotte Area Hotel Association said that wouldn't be hard to meet.

"If we can do the DNC, we can do the Super Bowl because that was a huge meeting and we were able to accommodate them," said Smith.  

City leaders said it's up to the Panthers to initiate the run and start the conversation with the NFL about Charlotte becoming a host city. That hasn't happened yet, but that doesn't mean it won't in the future.

The next Super Bowl location to be decided is for 2019.