BISMARCK - North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots when he attends the Super Bowl.
Burgum and first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum will be attending the game at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis as guests of Xcel Energy, which leases a suite at the venue, Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said.
"So they are not paying for their tickets," he said. The game is Sunday, Feb. 4.
"He's grateful for the invite," Nowatzki added, and looks forward to the opportunity to discuss ways Xcel can better serve utility customers in North Dakota.
"He is going to be wearing his Eagles gear," Nowatzki said. "He'll be wearing a Carson Wentz jersey, and he will be cheering for the Eagles."
Carson Wentz, of course, is a graduate of Bismarck's Century High School and a former North Dakota State University championship football quarterback, who now plays for the Eagles. Wentz helped the Eagles make it to the NFL Super Bowl, but has been sidelined by an injured knee.
The Eagles eliminated the Minnesota Vikings in a playoff game. The loss was "tough" for Burgum "because he is a Vikings fan," Nowatzki said.
Although cheering for the Eagles, Burgum believes the Patriots will win the Super Bowl championship by one touchdown - underscoring that they need Wentz on the field to win, he said. "He says that in good humor," Nowatzki said.
While in the Twin Cities, Burgum also will meet with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for lunch, and the two governors will discuss issues of mutual concern, including the flood-control diversion to protect Fargo-Moorhead.
Following recommendations by a task force named by the governors, a group of engineers is working to come up with a diversion plan that will be able to be permitted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Dayton also will be attending the Super Bowl. Earlier he told reporters he purchased a ticket for the game, paying $6,000 through an online broker. Minnesota's governor, still hurting from the Vikings' loss, said he will not be rooting for the Eagles.