Last week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game put the national spotlight on Minneapolis, and many groups seized the opportunity to spread the word about what the city has to offer.
For example, Meet Minneapolis, the city’s tourism bureau, tapped local PR firm Spong to help with a pro bono initiative, which involved creating a “virtual concierge.” Tourists posted questions on social media using #askMPLS, in order to elicit recommendations about destinations and events in the city.
A Spong spokesman told Twin Cities Business that the initiative resulted in 2,478 mentions of #askMPLS and 19 million Twitter impressions. There was also #bragmpls, a social media conversation promoted by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. Twin Citians were urged to brag about the city's best attributes.
Now, the group that's overseeing construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium is using the opportunity to provide an update on its progress and to tout the project's economic impact.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority sent out an infographic on Sunday displaying statistics about the project. The report is called "State of the Stadium" and indicates that stadium construction was 11.6 percent complete, as of May 31. See the full infographic here.
Among the highlights:
• As of May 31, workers had performed 222,639 hours of work, and they've been paid a total of $7.1 million.
• Of those hours, 75,337 were worked by minorities, 19,673 by women, and 11,867 by veterans.
• Since December 2013, 186 Minnesota-based companies have contributed to the stadium project.
The MSFA also called out some other projects in the proximity of the stadium. For example:
• It said that the stadium project helped spur the $400 million Downtown East project, plus another $100 million in residential development by Ryan Companies.
• The group also noted "broader Downtown East developments," including HCMC's planned $191 million expansion and Kraus Anderson's planned $15 million headquarters project.
• And the MSFA said that having the 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis will have an estimated $300 million economic impact.
Measuring So-Called “Economic Impact”
While All Star Week offered a convenient opportunity for the MSFA to provide an update on stadium progress, measures of “economic impact” are often debated.
For example, Twin Cities Business recently examined claims that the Metropolitan Council made about the Green Line light-rail’s economic impact. Among other things, the story found that some of the projects that supposedly contributed to the Met Council’s tally were not actually a result of the Green Line.
The MSFA's "State of the Stadium" report appears to be, at least in part, an effort to emphasize that the new stadium will also help attract major events, and not just the Super Bowl.
“As we look back at the success of the MLB All Star game and all of the events surrounding it, the spotlight was placed on Minnesota this week and we proved once again that we are more than capable of producing world class events,” the MSFA said in a press release.
The group emphasized that the new stadium won’t be reserved solely for the Vikings: “The new Multi-Purpose Stadium gives Minnesota the ability to host sporting events such as the NCAA Final Four, MLS games, and college tournaments, as well as national conventions and international music tours.”