Thousands of fans, media and others are expected to converge Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, but will Mankato benefit from the big game?

Mankato, 80 miles south of where the biggest spectacle in sports will take place next month, is looking to gain exposure from the anticipated increase in traffic.

Yet, without knowing who will play in the Super Bowl, the city isn't sure if or how many tourists will be making the trek to US Bank Stadium.

But Vikings or no Vikings, the event will attract a lot of visitors and with Mankato being a premiere stopping point, advertising its main attractions could prove valuable.

Visit Mankato President Anna Thill said, "What we're doing is just promoting what we have during this time of year...There's pond hockey activities, there's Mount Kato. There's all of our indoor attractions such as the Children's Museum, the Wow Zone. Letting people know what we have while they come through even if it's just a stop through."

Thill adds that if people are planning special events around the city, to let Visit Mankato know so they can help promote it.

Another area where Mankato could see an uptick in activity is through transportation.

Local bus services are preparing to give fans a ride up highway 169 and back, no matter who is playing.

Kicker Coaches Owner said, "Two part plan, if the Vikings make it obviously it's going to be different because there's probably going to be a lot of local people that are regular customers that like to go up to the games and have season tickets. If it's not the Vikings, then it could be different because then the Mankato airport might have some more traffic and that's probably where I would do a lot of my business."

Christensen adds that his bus will be available anytime throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl LII.

Anna Thill can be reached at 507-385-6664.

Kicker Coaches can be reached at 507-381-5367.

- KEYC 12