STATE OF MINNESOTA
L'Étoile du Nord
Office of Governor Mark Dayton
& Lt. Governor Tina Smith
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2015
Office of the Governor
Minnesota Launches Bid for College Football Playoff National Championship Game in 2020
Governor Dayton names Scot Housh, Chris Policinski co-chairs of CFP bid
Coach Jerry Kill, Randall McDaniel, Erika Binger named honorary co-chairs
ST. PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton announced today that an organized campaign is underway to pursue the 2020 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship. Governor Dayton announced that Scot Housh, President and CEO of Willis of Minnesota, Inc. and Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. will co-chair the effort.
“The College Football Playoff Championship would bring thousands of visitors to Minnesota and showcase our state to millions of Americans,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “We will pursue this premiere sporting event with the same determination that secured the 2018 Super Bowl and 2019 Final Four Tournament.”
Housh and Policinski will serve as co-chairs of the Minnesota CFP Steering Committee, which is comprised of representatives from Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), Meet Minneapolis/Sports Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota.
The College Football Playoff National Championship is now contested through a four-team bracket system, the College Football Playoff, which replaces the previous Bowl Championship Series. The first CFP National Championship took place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 12, 2015. The 2016 game will be played in Arizona and the 2017 game will be played in Tampa Bay, Fla. The CFP National Championship is the most important college football game of the year and is expected to grow over time, bringing thousands of football fans to the destinations chosen to host this top-tier event.
“The bold, new Minnesota Stadium will soon be the premier facility in the nation for football,” said Scot Housh. “We plan to add the 2020 CFP National Championship to the growing list of events held in downtown Minneapolis, which is on the radar as a city that is easy to get to and easy to get around.
Additionally, we have world-class practice facilities and numerous top venues for ancillary events that give us the confidence we will provide the best fan and player experience in the country.”
Lessons learned from Minnesota’s recent experience in putting together the successful Super Bowl LII bid and 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four bid demonstrated that these efforts require the energy, effort and collaboration of our community and business leadership to be successful.
“The leadership shown by our business community is second-to-none,” said Chris Policinski. “We’re an engaged community that works together for the benefit of the entire state. We have strong partners in the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings, as well as other strategic partners in the MSFA and Meet Minneapolis, and this public/private partnership model will continue to serve us well as we strive to bring the CFP to Minnesota in 2020.”
Governor Dayton also named three honorary co-chairs to support Minnesota’s bid for the CFP National Championship:
Jerry Kill, head football coach, University of Minnesota.
Randall McDaniel, football Hall of Famer, former Minnesota Vikings player and current teacher.
Erika Binger, chair of the McKnight Foundation Board of Directors and former triathlete.
“The CFP is truly exciting for any fan of college football,” said Coach Kill. “The new format gives teams an opportunity to rise to the top, with the best of the best playing for the chance to get to the national championship game. At the University of Minnesota, we are excited about this as well as the potential to have the eyes of the college football world on our home town, which is also the best of the best when it comes to hosting excellent experiences for fans and players.”
About Minnesota’s Bid for the CFP National Championship
The Minnesota CFP National Championship bid committee will submit a fully executed bid document on Wednesday, May 27, and the committee expects a site visit with decision makers from CFP Group will occur in the summer of 2015. The announcement of the winning destinations for 2018, 2019, and 2020 is expected in October. Minnesota is only bidding on the 2020 game due to other previously booked events.
Potential Economic Impact of the Event
The inaugural CFP National Championship was held in January 2015, and the Dallas, Texas-area organizers predicted an overall estimated economic impact of $308 million.* There is not yet an estimate for the potential impact of the game in Minnesota.
Biographical Information about Co-Chairs and Steering Committee Members
Scot Housh leads the Minnesota Operations of Willis North America. He has more than thirty years of insurance brokerage experience, helping provide innovative solutions for the risk management needs of his clients. Housh began his career as a Trainee at Marsh & McLennan-Minneapolis in the fall of 1984. He quickly assumed responsibility for marketing complex property and casualty programs to the insurance marketplace on behalf of his clients. Housh joined Willis in 1997. He has been honored as a member of Willis North America’s Exceptional Producers Council on ten separate occasions. Housh serves as Member and Secretary of the Edina Community Foundation, and as board member of the Be The Match Foundation. Housh earned a B.A. from Brown University.
Chris Policinski is president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc., the second largest cooperative in the nation. With 35 years of experience in the food industry, he previously held leadership positions at Kraft General Foods, Bristol-Myers Squib and The Pillsbury Company. Serving on the boards of Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Xcel Energy and Hormel Foods, as well as locally with University of Minnesota Foundation, Carlson School Board of Advisors and others, Policinski earned an MBA degree from New York University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Coach Jerry Kill has been head coach of the University of Minnesota football program for five years and is in his 22nd year as a head football coach with a career record of 152-99. In 2015, Kill and Minnesota earned a berth and played in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. The game marked Minnesota's first appearance in the historic Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl and was the first time that Minnesota played a bowl game in January in Florida. Kill was voted the Big Ten Conference's Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year by the conference's coaches and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year by the media who cover the Big Ten. He also was named Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association for the second straight year.
Randall McDaniel is a National Football League Hall of Famer, former Minnesota Vikings player and current elementary school basic skills instructor in the Robbinsdale, Minn. Area Schools at Neill Elementary School. In 1988, McDaniel was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and stepped into the starting line-up in the second game of his rookie season, eventually earning All-Rookie honors. One of the most decorated offensive linemen in NFL history, he made an NFL record 12 consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl representing the NFC and earned All-Pro honors nine times and was named the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in three consecutive seasons. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Active in the community throughout his career, McDaniel began working in the schools upon his retirement from the NFL in 2002. He and his wife, Marianne, currently operate “Team McDaniel” to foster the value of community service among its 100 middle-school student members. He aims to share his belief in the power of education to change lives and fuel dreams, just as it did his own.
Erika Binger is chair of the McKnight Foundation Board of Directors, a former world triathlete and aquathlete champion and current author. She was elected chair of the McKnight Foundation in 2004 and served as a member of the board since 1994. She also has served with such organizations as the Jack Cornelius Boys and Girls Club in Minneapolis, Bolder Options and Minnesota Coalition for Adolescent Females. Binger enjoys adventures and the outdoors and has summited several 10,000+ peaks, including Kilimanjaro and Grand Teton. She desires to instill in others the love she has for movement, outdoors and health. Binger earned her Masters’ Degree in Organizational Leadership. She is currently pursuing another masters’ degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
Steering Committee Members: Michele Kelm-Helgen, MSFA; Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis; Andrew Parrish, University of Minnesota; Kevin Warren, Minnesota Vikings.
Office of the Governor & Lt. Governor, Communications Department
116 Veterans Service Building, 20 West 12th Street, St. Paul, MN 55155
T: 651-201-3400 | E: Dayton.Media@state.mn.us
*Emerging Local Government Leaders, ELGL.org, “College Football Championship Brings Big Rewards for the DFW Metroplex,” Jan. 28, 2015.