Houston received glowing reviews Monday morning for a Super Bowl week that no one will ever forget, while the clock began ticking toward the 2018 Super Bowl in Minnesota.
The Bayou City’s mayor and host committee officially handed over responsibilities to Minnesota’s host committee during a press conference Monday morning in downtown Houston.
“Houston, you’ve set a phenomenal example, and we’ve had the best time,” said Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.
“There’s still so much work to be done to match the tremendous showing that the NFL experienced this week in Houston,” said Mark Wilf, President of the Minnesota Vikings.
Super Bowl Live and the NFL Experience drew 1.3 million people to Houston’s Discovery Green and George R. Brown Convention Center, events planned by Houston’s Super Bowl Host Committee and brought to life by 10,000 volunteers.
“I can’t think of anything more they could have done and done better than they did do,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Neither could NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who says Houston “set a new bar for this event."
“I don’t believe that you could have a team of people that were better prepared, more excited more enthusiastic, and frankly, could have done a better job,” Goodell said. “It was, frankly, an extraordinary effort.”
Goodell also called Houstonians “extraordinary," not only for the way they handled more than 140,000 out-of-town visitors, but also for making them feel so welcome.
Bill Belichick, head coach for the New England Patriots, ended his post-Super Bowl press conference Monday morning by thanking the city.
“It was a great week for us,” Belichick said. “We thank the city of Houston for their big part in it and making it such a wonderful weekend for the Patriots and all of our fans.”
Belichick also thanked the University of Houston, where the team practiced all week, along with local law enforcement.
Mayor Turner thanked both officers and demonstrators for helping maintain peaceful protests at Discovery Green and outside NRG Stadium in response to the executive order on immigration.