Starting Early: Super Bowl-Funded Community Projects Get Going Months Before Big Game
In Minnesota, the Super Bowl Host Committee's legacy fund, backed by money from the NFL and other donors, is helping to pay for community projects throughout the state. The Minneapolis-hosted Super Bowl LII is still nearly eight months away.
Super Bowl LII isn’t coming to Minneapolis until February, but the big game’s impact is already being felt in Minnesota—and for reasons that have nothing to do with football.
That’s because of a legacy fund set up by the NFL and a host of Minnesota businesses, community groups, and foundations. The fund, valued at $4 million (a quarter of that coming from the football league) is helping to pay for a series of community projects throughout the state, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The legacy fund’s grants, while generally related to health and exercise initiatives, are going to things with no relation to the gridiron. For example, St. Paul’s Parks and Recreation Department recently received $100,000 to convert old tennis courts into outdoor courts for sepak takraw, a sport native to Southeast Asia that combines elements of kickball and volleyball.
Other grants to Minnesota community groups—including $75,000 for a walking path near Windom Area Hospital and $50,000 for a refrigerated produce truck for Grand Rapids’ Second Harvest North Central Food Bank—also reflect the health-driven mission. The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s legacy fund has worked with the Minnesota Department of Health to find projects where the fund can have the most direct impact.
Dana Nelson, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s vice president of legacy and community partnerships, indicated that starting on these projects early helped to reinforce the fund’s long-term impact.
“We are focused on the health and wellness of kids and family,” Nelson told the Star-Tribune. “Long after the game is played, kids and families will be able to enjoy these parks, bike trails, fresh produce and all these things across the state for many, many years to come.”