Sports

MSP Airport is ready for Super Bowl fans to arrive – and leave

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is ready for the Super Bowl 52 fans to arrive – and leave .

“For many Super Bowl attendees, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be their first and last impression of Minnesota, and we want to ensure it’s a great one,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP.

The airport has spruced up with a special Super Bowl info page on its website, an enhanced Wi-Fi system, new carpeting, new furniture, new shops and restaurants and has added lots of NFL signage and pop-up Super Bowl souvenir shops in the terminals.

Extra volunteers have been recruited to help travelers with airport wayfinding and extra space has been arranged for all the taxis, rental cars, limos and Uber and Lyft cars that will be supplementing public transportation options at the airport.

Weather contingency plans are in place. Airport police and fire crews have been working with city, county and federal law enforcement agencies on how to deal with various scenarios. And the Transportation Security Administration is bringing in extra officers and passenger screening canines to help process passengers heading home after the game.

“TSA operations at MSP following the Super Bowl will be an ‘all hands on deck’ operation,” said TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers, “From uniformed staff to plain-clothes administrative personnel, everyone will be working.”

TSA and MSP expect to set passenger records on the Monday and Tuesday after Super Bowl, but airport officials are confident their team is up for the challenge.

“We have a solid plan in place to keep everyone safe, the operation running smoothly, and travelers’ experience positive,” said MSP’s Ryks.

Safe and smooth is good, but MSP’s Super Bowl welcome team is also offering fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots some fun extras.

A 10-day “Performing Arts Spectacular” is underway, with a lineup of events featuring everything from Bollywood, hip-hop and flamenco dancers to vocal and drum performances. The airport’s animal ambassadors will be out in full force. And giveaways in the terminals will include a series of Super Bowl/Winter-themed MSP buttons and foldable terminal maps with disposable hand warmers attached.

Several airlines, including Delta, Southwest, American and United, have added flights to MSP from Boston, Philadelphia and many other major hubs for Super Bowl ticket holders and last-minute planners heading to the Twin Cities to partake of Super Bowl festivities.

In addition to the extra flights, American Airlines, the official airline for the Philadelphia Eagles, is handing out Eagles rally towels to all passengers flying on from Philadelphia to Minneapolis-St. Paul through Sunday, February 4.

And on Saturday and Sunday, United Airlines is serving “football favorites,” including hot dogs and macaroni salad, to customers visiting the carriers’ lounges in its hub cities. United Club visitors in Boston, Philadelphia and Minneapolis will also find extra treats, including lobster roll and New England clam chowder in Boston; Tastykakes and a build-your-own hoagie bar in Philadelphia; and Captain Ken’s Wagon Trail Chili (a Minnesota favorite) in Minneapolis.

 

Minneapolis-St. Paul Int’l Airport ready for Superbowl 52

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is getting ready for the influx of football fans who will be heading that way for SuperBowl 52 – and leaving in a big rush right afer the game.

There’s a special Superbowl 52 page on the airport’s website with tips on how early to check out of your hotel and arrive at the airport for a flight after the big game and information on shopping and dining, including the location of restaurants and pop-up/souvenir shops that will be open very late, very early or around-the-clock.

In addition to promising a ready-for-the-crowds Wi-Fi system, the airport is also promsing a “Performing Arts Spectacular” starting January 26 with a lineup featuring everything from Bollywood and hip-hop dancers to vocal and drum performances.  See the schedule here.

Ski free with your boarding pass July 4th weekend

Courtesy UW Digital Collections

July 4th picnic? Sure.

But how about skiing or snowboarding this summer?

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in North Lake Tahoe will be open on July 4 and into August (conditions permitting) marking only the fourth time in the last 50 years that the resort has reopened for Independence Day.

If skiing over the July 4th holiday sounds like fun, Visit California is reminding travelers that through August 31, Skis and Snowboards Fly Free on JetBlue routes from JFK International Airport and Long Beach Airiport (LGB) into Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO).

Even better, anyone flying into Reno-Tahoe International Airport on any commercial flight can take their boarding pass to the “Mountain Concierge” shop in the airport and pick up a free same day ski pass for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows as part of the Fly & Ski Free Deal.

Delta joins Seattle Sounders FC for cool contest

 

In and around Seattle, soccer fans are super passionate about the Seattle Sounders FC, who just happen to be the defending MLS Cup Champion team.

Delta Air Lines is the team’s official airline and they’ve kicked off a cool fan ‘engagement’ campaign called the “Join the XI” program, that will give 11 fans some super-special perks.

Fans selected to join the “Starting XI” team will “get to live the life of an MLS player, sign a one-day contract with the Sounders FC and fly with the team to the July 29th match against Los Angeles,” promises Delta.

Here are some of the ‘positions’ they’re going to fill:

  • The Dynamic Duo – friends, family, a couple or coworkers united by their love of Sounders FC
  • The Stat Wiz – the one fan who knows the game and the team by the numbers
  • The Luckiest – the person who sticks to their superstitions to help the team win
  • The Lifetimer – someone who’s been a Sounders FC fan for what feels like forever
  • The Roadie – where Sounders FC goes, they follow – no matter the distance

There are some age and residency restrictions,  but if you’re a Sounders fan, here’s where to enter.

Good luck!

 

 

 

Hockey at airports? In restaurants and bars, yes.

Courtesy Provincial Archives of Alberta, via Flickr Commons.

If you’re a hockey fan, you’re no doubt paying attention to what’s happening with the NHL season playoffs and looking for TVs in airport where you can watch the games and be with your people.

Turns out, there  are plenty of hockey-themed restaurants and bars in airports.

Here are just a few, operated by HMSHost

Avenue des Canadiens at Montréal-Trudeau International Airport’s Domestic Terminal by Gate 01 celebrates the Montreal Canadiens.

Minnesota Wild in Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport’s Concourse H is Minnesota Wild-themed.

Sharks Cage Sports Bar & Grill in San Jose International Airport’s Terminal B by Gate B18 is all about the San Jose Sharks.

Stanley’s Blackhawks Kitchen & Tap in Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 2 by Gate E5 celebrates the Chicago Blackhawks.

Anaheim Ducks Breakaway Bar & Grill in John Wayne Airport’s Terminal C is where Anaheim Ducks fans will feel welcome.

And  Vancouver Canucks Bar & Grill in Vancouver International Airport’s US Terminal by Gate E81 is all about Vancouver’s NHL team, the Canucks.