KEYC - Super Bowl Ripple Effects Benefiting Greater Minnesota

Super Bowl Ripple Effects Benefiting Greater Minnesota

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MANKATO, Minn. -

In additions to the hundred million people watching on TV, Super Bowl 52 will mean more than a 100,000 people will descend on the Twin Cities metro.

To deal with big crowds of out of state visitors, organizers are looking across the state to help meet the need.

Even with a bit of a breeze, it's a perfect day for planes to hit the skies at Mankato Airport.

But when the biggest event in football comes to Minnesota next year, the skies over Mankato could have a bit more traffic.

Mankato Regional Airport Manager Kevin Baker said, "Last year's Super Bowl and they found out there was 1,700 aircraft, corporate aircraft that flew into Huston."

The Metropolitan Airport Commission estimates their airports can handle about 1,100, so that will need Greater Minnesota reliever airports to pick up some of the slack.

The Commission held their first meeting with officials from Mankato Thursday about serving as one of the several relievers.

Visit Mankato Marketing and Communications Director Carrie Kijenski said, "Mankato's only 77 miles for the Twin Cities, we've got great airport facilities; also we have easy access to the Twin Cities. There's less congestion."

Even though the Mankato Airport could park a max of 150 airplanes, they're only expecting about 25, but there are things to prepare for when they arrive.

Baker said, "Aircraft coming in here from probably faraway places, they're going to need, and we only have storage for right around 15,000 gallons of fuel."

The hope is the Super Bowl won't just mean a few more airplanes are landing here in Mankato, but that the big crowds that come with the big game will also mean big business for the city as well.

Kijenski said, "Some events and activities that currently happen right now around [the date] of the Super Bowl and then we're looking at some unique events we're trying to plan so basically to retain and attract some visitors to the area."

Super Bowl 52 kickoff is February 4.

--KEYC News 12

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