Transit to Star in the Super Bowl

Minneapolis officials are touting Super Bowl LII as "the most transit-reliant Super Bowl ever played."

2 minute read

February 4, 2018, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Snowy Bus Stop

Jeff Bukowski / Shutterstock

With its downtown location and adjacent light rail service, U.S. Bank Stadium will take on a notably urban feel compared to the more suburban climes of most NFL stadiums. 

Katie Pyzyk provides in-depth coverage of the transit planning and investment that enabled Minneapolis' claim to the title of "the most transit-reliant Super Bowl ever played." (Mark Benedict, director of light rail operations and transportation for metro Transit, is cited in the article as the source of that claim.)

Pyzyk starts out by noting the plan to sequester all light rail service for ticket-holding fans—news about the special service broke, to the chagrin of many transit advocates, in November. Pyzyk provides additional details about the light rail service on game day, including official security screening for the game at light rail stations. In effect, once you get on a train, you're at the game.

Pyzyk also details about how Metro Transit has redesigned the bus system to accommodate regular riders while the light rail system is devoted to ticket holders.

Another key aspect of the use of transit for the game is the cold weather climate of Minneapolis, which "creates the need for more Super Bowl transportation contingency plans than in cities with temperate weather." As football fans know, the Super Bowl has only very rarely been held in cold weather cities. The first "cold weather" Super Bowl, Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Michigan, was hit by a snow storm before the game that caused a lot of scrambling to get fans to the game.

Finally, Pyzyk also examines the process by which Minneapolis prepared for the Super Bowl by following the model provided by Santa Clara and Houston, the last two cities to host the Super Bowl.

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