Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee files financial report

By Mike Kaszuba

Though Minnesota’s Super Bowl Host Committee has operated largely out of the public eye, there are some early signs of the financial undertaking required to bring the 2018 game to the new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The first financial report filed by the host committee shows that the non-profit organization had more than $744,000 in assets at the end of 2014, but also more than $891,000 in liabilities.  The report, which only covers 2014, does not provide details regarding the committee’s assets or liabilities.

The committee reported just $8,747 in total revenue by the end of December 2014 – seven months after Minnesota was awarded the Super Bowl in May of that year.  The committee also reported $155,731 in expenses by year’s end.

In the spring of 2014, local officials said they hoped to raise between $30 and $40 million in corporate donations to help cover the game’s costs.  US Bank President Richard Davis, a key figure in the push to host the game in Minnesota, said at the time that roughly $30 million had already been committed.

The 2014 report also showed that Maureen Bausch, the committee’s chief executive, was compensated $56,500 that year for her job duties.  Bausch had previsouly served as the Mall of America’s executive vice president of business development.  Bausch signed the committees’ 2014 financial report in November of 2015.

Report details board, key personnel

According to the financial report, the committee and its key personel include Bausch, Davis, Marilyn Carlson Nelson (the former chair and chief executive of Carlson Companies), Doug Baker (the head of Ecolab), Michael Langley (the chief executive of regional economic development group Greater MSP), and Lester Bagley (a Minnesota Vikings official.)

The report noted that committee members and key employees were required to complete annual disclosure forms listing any “relationships, positions or circumstances” that might lead to a conflict of interest.  Public Record Media, a St. Paul non-profit, asked host committee staff to provide the disclosure forms, but the request was declined.  A spokesman for the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office added that “nothing in Minnesota law requires a non-profit to release such records to members of the public.”

Goals of the host committee

According to the 990 report, the committee’s overall goal is to bring the National Football League’s “Super Bowl LII to US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as the most watched event in U.S. television history.”  The report added that “beyond the game, the Super Bowl Host Committee will host a ten day celebration that includes public events, concerts, football fan experiences, exhibitions and entertainment, as well as the opportunity for visitors to take in all the retail, dining and authentic winter experiences our region has to offer.”

“The host committee works directly with the NFL, sponsors, partners, suppliers and vendors, venues, as well as media and government agencies to create a successful event that showcases Minnesota to an international audience, increases tourism and convention business for our region, and generates hundreds of millions in economic impact as a direct result of the game,” the committee’s report stated.