MINNEAPOLIS - There are likely not more than a few people inside U.S. Bank Stadium today for Super Bowl LII who know the name Morrie Lanning. But walking around the concourse before the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots played, and seeing the biggest sporting event in the United States getting cranked up to full hype, it was hard not to think of the former longtime Moorhead state representative.
Lanning was the politician who championed a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and their owners, the Wilf family. His stance was not popular, and remains that way (in some cases for good reason) among many Minnesotans. But without Lanning’s bulldog commitment to cobble together a bill during the 2012 legislative session to help finance the stadium, this game would not be played in Minneapolis.
It’s that simple. If the Metrodome still stood, the Super Bowl would not be in Minnesota. It’s likely the Vikings would have vacated the state, too.