By RICK SOLEM
First a new coach. Then a new quarterback.
Next, a new stadium. And, finally, the Super Bowl.
Regardless of whether the Minnesota Vikings will be playing in Super Bowl LII, they will be the hosting it.
The NFL awarded Minnesota, the team without a stadium, the 2018 Super Bowl on Tuesday.
It’s just another bit of good news for Minnesota – which is hosting the MLB all-star game July 15 – in an almost complete fresh start for the Vikings, whose billion-dollar stadium is set to open in 2016.
Minnesota is set to kick off this season under new head coach Mike Zimmer, as well as offensive coordinator Norv Turner and defensive coordinator George Edwards.
Zimmer and Turner will get to play with their new toy, first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater, who was arguably the best QB in the draft. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound 21-year-old signed from Louisville signed for four years, $6.85 million Tuesday.
Edwards also gets to play with his new linebacker, Anthony Barr. The 6-4, 248-pound 22-year-old out of UCLA also signed Tuesday to a four-year, $12-million deal.
The pieces keep seemingly all fall into place for Minnesota, which won its bid over New Orleans and Indianapolis to host the Super Bowl, most likely because of the stadium that will be able to hold 72,000.
Next year, the Super Bowl will be in Glendale, Ari., followed by Santa Clara, Calif., for the 50th Super Bowl, then Houston.
The only time Minnesota hosted the Super Bowl was in 1992 at the Metrodome (Washington 37, Buffalo 24). The Vikings have also played in, and lost, the NFL championship in 1970, 1974, 1975 and 1977.