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By Conor Orr
January 29, 2018

Did the city of Minneapolis quietly pump its fist when the Vikings were trounced by the Eagles in last Sunday’s NFC Championship game?

That’s the working theory espoused by several sports business reporters over the past few weeks. ESPN’s Darren Rovell noted that places like the St. Paul Hampton Inn is fixing to charge $800 per night this week, and that if the Vikings had a home game fewer people would need a room since they already live in Minnesota.

Here’s Ruben Rosario from the Pioneer Press quoting sports economist Victor Matheson:

If you are going to get an economic impact from the game, it’s going to come from people outside the community coming in and dropping a ton of cash while they are here. You are counting on people from New England … Philadelphia, spending money, keeping the money in Minneapolis, and leaving with their wallets empty when they are done. Had the Vikings made the final game, that means that a huge number of people would not have been coming from outside, but instead it would be locals spending their money on local stuff which normally would have been spent elsewhere in the economy. Instead of money from Vikings fans, you have people coming to Minneapolis and spending their money while they are here. It’s good for hotels, good for Uber, good for restaurants and other transportation, which is better than if the Vikings had made it.

But is that actually true? We reached out to the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce and were directed to Kristen Montag, who works for Meet Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association.

“Only about 10,000 [Vikings fans] would have been able to see the game anyway,” Montag said. “We think the hotels would have been just as busy and most of them were already all reserved. The vast majority of the ticket holders aren’t from here anyway, and they had their rooms reserved for a long time. The downtown rooms have all been occupied for at least the last six months if not longer.

“We really believe it would have been just as good.”

Montag said that if the Vikings had won, the city was estimating that any losses from out of town spending would have been more than made up by Vikings fans flocking to the area to be part of the experience. Since stories started popping up about a potential Vikings Super Bowl appearance in November, the Chamber of Commerce and its spokespeople have been clinging to this sort of see-saw economic theory: Perhaps hotels outside of the downtown may have taken a slight hit, but tickets would spike, as would visitors to the downtown who could access the festivities anytime without needing a room.

While the economic boon from hosting a Super Bowl has always been either exaggerated by nebulous impact studies or at least impossible to truly determine, it would have been interesting to see how the league would backpedal to accommodate a true home team.

The Falcons—another team legitimately good enough to reach the big game—are now officially on the clock.

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WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Mike Trout: Eagles fan, baseball player....The new XFL sounds like a load of crap and I hope people don't fall for it ... Albert Breer on the Browns and quarterbacks, typically a dicey combination.


PRESS COVERAGE

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1. What? The Pro Bowl was yesterday? Weird. Here are some highlights.

2. The Eagles have touched down in Minneapolis. Apparently these birds don't fly south for the winter (sorry).

3. We’re gonna get more catch rule heat this offseason. That's the good stuff, the stuff that keeps us going.

4. While I was hoping we could hold this off for as long as possible, the banal quotes from general managers suggesting they could do ANYTHING in the draft have started to surface. TELL US YOUR PLANS, ELWAY.

5. All the Patriots were at practice on Sunday.

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6. The Senior Bowl from a Jets perspective: Beat sage Rich Cimini thinks Josh Allen improved his stock.

7. Aqib Talib could end up being a cost-saving cut for the Denver Broncos.

8. Some interesting quotes here from Thomas Davis talking about the run-pass options (RPO's) run by the Eagles. In short, it's hell on a linebacker.

9. Almost a quarter of NFL players think owners don't respect their players.

10. The Patriots will meet some old friends in the Super Bowl in Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount. This has my early vote as the most tired storyline of the week and it's barely Monday.

Have a story you think we should include in tomorrow’s Press Coverage? Let us know here.


THE KICKER

The Grateful Dead first touched down in Minneapolis back in April of 1969. Here they are playing a wild version of “Dark Star” at the Labor Temple.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

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