A concept image of the Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain at next year's Super Bowl LIVE. Submitted image

A concept image of the Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain at next year's Super Bowl LIVE. Submitted image

Nicollet Mall will host 10-day Super Bowl festival

Updated: November 8, 2017 - 9:59 am

Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis are putting together a Minnesota-centric lineup

It wouldn’t be a Minnesota Super Bowl without Prince.

A tribute to the late music star, free shows and ice sculptures are among the sights promised at Super Bowl LIVE, a 10-day festival that will bring locals and visitors to the south end of Nicollet Mall before the big game next February.

The Super Bowl Host Committee marked 100 days until the game with an announcement that Minneapolis songwriting icons Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis will be behind a Minnesota-focused lineup of programming and concerts, which will include a tribute to the Purple One.

The lineup is just one part of the pre-game festival, which committee officials promise will have food and outdoor fun in order to showcase the region and the Twin Cities as the “Bold North.”

Maureen Bausch, CEO of the host committee, said the festival is an “opportunity to showcase the best of Minnesota” — including the weather.

“From our ‘Minnesota Sound’ and outdoor winter sports to our creative cuisine and nightlife, Nicollet Mall will be a shining example of our Bold North lifestyle. With a northern city hosting the Super Bowl, we are leaning into what makes Minnesota unique. We created Super Bowl LIVE to intentionally invite our visitors to spend time outdoors and enjoy an unforgettable and quintessential Minnesota experience,” she said in a statement.

Officials from the Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon and Mayor Betsy Hodges posed in front of a smaller version of the ice sculptures that will appear at Super Bowl LIVE. Photo by Eric Best
Officials from the Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon and Mayor Betsy Hodges posed in front of a smaller version of the ice sculptures that will appear at Super Bowl LIVE. Photo by Eric Best

The festival will take over six blocks of Nicollet Mall from 6th to 12th streets with each block offering its own unique events and programming. The festivities will connect to the Super Bowl Experience Driven by Genesis, the NFL’s interactive theme park inside the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The main attraction will be the “Verizon Up Stage at Ice Mountain” on the corner of 8th & Nicollet. That’s where free daily concerts, including a Prince tribute on the first day, will take place each day, as organized by Jam and Lewis. Each night, Native American groups from around the state will “drum down the sun.”

“From Bob Dylan to Prince, Minnesota’s musical legacy is like no other. We’re happy to be a part of bringing our local folks and families together to share in this celebration of our iconic music community,” the two said.

Welcoming visitors on each block will be roughly 17-foot-wide ice sculptures. Guests and families will be able to warm up on warming benches and take photos inside giant snow globes.

While much of the festivities will be outside in the cold, visitors will be able to relax inside the former Macy’s building, which has become the Dayton’s Project under new ownership. Super Bowl LIVE is expected to draw about 1 million visitors to the renovated Nicollet Mall, which will be fully completed by the time the Super Bowl comes on Feb. 4.

Richard Davis, co-chair of the committee, touted the potential of the Super Bowl — “the world’s largest stage” — to boost local business and tourism and support the region’s brand as the Bold North.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for our world-class companies and all Minnesotans to come together and celebrate the good life in Minnesota as a proud and vibrant community,” he said.

Visitors will be able to take photos inside walk-in snow globes at Super Bowl LIVE. Submitted image
Visitors will be able to take photos inside walk-in snow globes at Super Bowl LIVE. Submitted image