Shorewood native Andrea Mokros will have an extra burst of adrenaline coursing through her veins when Super Bowl LI kicks off Sunday in Houston. Mokros has been stationed in Houston for a week, paying close attention to every detail and nuance of America’s biggest annual sports and party spectacle.
That’s because she is the vice president of communications and events of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, which will plan and execute Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, 2018. Mokros, 39, will oversee the planning for all of the logistics of next year’s Super Bowl, including the halftime entertainment, the parties and receptions. She will also be involved with handling public transit and accommodating the media.
“We want every single person to have a great time,” Mokros said.
At least as much fun as one can have in Minneapolis in February, when the average high temperature is shy of 28 degrees.
Mokros built an impressive résumé that led to her Super Bowl gig. She previously served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and was the director of strategic planning for first lady Michelle Obama in the White House. Mokros successfully managed a team responsible for the first lady’s many special appearances, including a NATO Summit in Chicago, the London Olympics and a trip to China. Previously, she parlayed her degree in political science from the University of Minnesota into stints as the deputy chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton.
The Host Committee estimates the economic impact of the Super Bowl on the Twin Cities will surpass $400 million. “Super Bowl LII is a platform to showcase Minnesota’s engaged business community, innovative and progressive lifestyle and beautiful attractions to the world,” said Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee CEO Maureen Bausch. “Andrea has a deep understanding of everything Minnesota has to offer. She is uniquely positioned to create powerful, lasting impressions of Minnesota and the rest of the Bold North.”
In keeping with the mission of this column, I asked Mokros to share the keys to staging the monstrous event that is Super Bowl LII
- It’s our time to shine! “It’s not often that a Super Bowl comes to our neck of the woods — the last time it was in Minnesota was 1992. So, this is the time to show the world what we’ve got — a bold new stadium, great arts, culture and restaurants. There’s a reason everyone from Prince to Andrew Zimmern chose to call Minnesota home.”
- You can’t hide February. “So why try? We love our four seasons, and we don’t just survive winter, we LIVE it! You can golf at any other Super Bowl — when was the last time you snowmobiled or fat tire biked?”
- Minnesota nice is a real thing. “Hospitality is our time to shine and give the hundreds of thousands who come for the game great memories and an experience so great they want to come back. Our weather is cold, but our people are warm — and we hope people leave Minnesota knowing that nice is real.”
- Details matter — and it takes a village. “Welcoming 1 million people to the market over 10 days doesn’t just happen. It takes an incredible amount of coordination and planning across cities and counties, from traffic to transit, from law enforcement to local businesses, and depends upon really good communication.”
- Something for everyone. “We’re stepping onto the world stage for one of the biggest events, ever — and we want everyone to be part of it. A big part of the host committee’s job is to activate our entire city, creating free and public events.”
- Wisconsin is invited, too. “How often can you jump in your car and drive a few hours to get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy? You can do that at the NFL Experience. Or watch your favorite players get interviewed on Radio Row, just mere feet from you? We want folks from Canada, Iowa, the Dakotas and Wisconsin to drive a few hours to make memories of a lifetime. And we welcome Packer fans!”
Article originally published in Milwaukee Journal Article originally published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on 4 February