Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis is in the rear view mirror, and while temperatures were definitely very 'February-like', the event was a boon for the economy and also had a positive impact on potential future tourism.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Committee released the final economic impact via social media this week, showing some staggering numbers for the weeklong football-themed week.

Among some of those numbers, here are some of the highlights from Super Bowl week:

  • $450 million in gross local spending
  • $370 million net local spending
  • $273 million in positive impact on Minnesota wages/salaries
  • $608/day spent by each tourist
  • 3.9 days average length of visitor stay
  • 1,630 private jets landed at Twin Cities area airports
  • 266,000 hotel room nights booked during Super Bowl week
  • 83% of first-time visitors said they will return

All of those statistics are pretty impressive, but some of those numbers fell a little short of expectations. According to the Pioneer Press, daily spending per-person was projected to be $17 higher, at $625 per day and overall spending was $30 million short of the expected $400 million. Beside the staggering dollar amounts, the one number that stands out to me is the percentage of first-time visitors that enjoyed their experience enough to want to come back.

While in the Twin Cities for Super Bowl week, I heard over and over from visitors from all over the country how much they enjoyed their visit. A couple of recurring themes I heard from people from Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, and elsewhere is how they didn't realize how much there is to do around the state.

One person I spoke with did a great job of encapsulating that mentality, explaining that he sort of envisioned Minnesota as a frozen tundra with some corn fields. He went on to say he was impressed not only by all that the Twin Cities had to offer, but also the diverse outdoor offerings around the state.

Hearing multiple stories like that tell me how much of a tourism marketing opportunity hosting the Super Bowl was. I had several conversations with people who had drastically different impressions of the state prior to actually coming here. That is definitely a long-term win for the state's tourism industry. If you thought it was nice in February, come back this summer. ;)