Friday, February 2, 2018

Mayor Jacob Frey is ready to showcase Minneapolis to the world

Photo: Imgur
Mayor Jacob Frey is ready to showcase the city of Minneapolis to thousands of football fans during Super Bowl 52. Daniel House caught up with the mayor to discuss the big event.

Updated: February 2, 2018, 4:50 p.m.

By: Daniel House

In just a few short days, the entire world shift their eyes to the city of Minneapolis for Super Bowl 52. Thousands of fans have arrived in the city for a week of activities leading up to the world's largest sporting event.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey was elected in late December, but has the chance to lead the city during its first Super Bowl since 1992. It’s something the 36-year-old mayor believes will positively showcase what Minneapolis has to offer.

“[The Super Bowl] has been real positive,” Frey said. “The streets are filled with people and we get to highlight our city.”

Months of planning led up to Super Bowl week as thousands of celebrities and tourists descended on Minneapolis for all of the festivities. Frey noted how the hard work and dedication by many people is allowing the event to run smoothly without any interruptions.

“It’s a collaborative effort whether it’s our business community or community organizers, or law enforcement,” Frey said. “The Host Committee of the Super Bowl has done an extraordinary job of setting things up. We’re ready to host once heck of a celebration.”

The bright stage is also a way to showcase the steps Minneapolis is taking to improve the city for the citizens who live there. The economic impact of this event is something leaders can capitalize upon to bolster certain aspects of city. Frey said affordable housing, ending homelessness and police-community relations are a few key issues his administration hopes to target. Frey said he will continue reaching out to the community members, while learning the roles of those who work in Minneapolis.

“You can’t possibly learn how to govern until you’ve learned the individual responsibilities of government," he said. "You can't begin talking with any sort of clarity or understanding without listening first and that’s what we are doing.”

In the end, Frey wants to bring everyone together across the city to create a positive environment for people of all ages to live and work.

“The overarching piece that we’re really focusing on right now is unity,” Frey said. “We’ve been such a divided city in so many respects and now is a great time to seek bridge builders.”

Frey even mentioned how the Vikings’ success during the 2017 season brought the city together for a few weeks. Even if the Vikings aren’t starring in the Super Bowl, the mayor said their impact is clear across the state.

“Since that Minneapolis Miracle, the whole city was humming for the next week thereafter,” Frey said. “We love our Vikings and we’re proud to have them here.”

Of course, a home Super Bowl is something Frey and many others were hoping to see this week. As Philadelphia fans descended upon Minneapolis, a video went viral of the mayor sending a “warm welcome” to the fanbase:

Frey said it was an opportunity to jab a group of outspoken fans, who made their voices heard during the Vikings’ 38-7 NFC Championship game loss.

“I was just saying what I think everybody has been thinking,” Frey said. “A jab here or there won’t hurt anybody, especially when they’ve dished it as much as they have.”

No matter what, “Minnesota Nice” will greet fans from both the Patriots and Eagles, along with countless other tourists in town. Those people will have a chance to see what the Twin Cities and surrounding areas have to offer. With all of the world's eyes turning to Minneapolis, Frey wants people to see what can happen when a city comes together. 

“People are really digging it,” Frey said. “Over the next several days, the entire world is going to turn its gaze to Minneapolis and I want to make sure when they do, they see a city that is united around goals of opportunity and inclusion.”

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