Though I cherish the rush of writing on deadline, I’ll gladly accept a three-month lead time. That’s what I get (and sometimes more) with Minnesota Business assignments like my 2019 Final Four byline published last month.

Bear in mind: I did all the legwork for this story weeks before the Super Bowl LII came to Minneapolis, back when no one knew what a Northland Super Bowl would look like. At least, no one too young to remember Super Bowl XXVI, a mediocre Bills-Redskins contest best remembered for a trainwreck halftime that embarrassed the NFL to revamp its once lax host city relations.

Minneapolis hosted has hosted the Final Four since then, back in 2001. This isn’t the city’s first NCAA Championship rodeo. But things have changed quite a bit since then, MLOC president and CEO Kate Mortenson told me. Heck, they’ve changed quite a bit since 2011, the year after a catastrophic roof collapse sealed the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome’s fate and the surrounding blocks of Downtown East were given over almost entirely to parking. (To be fair, the most wired-up building in town is right around the corner.)

Mortenson and Meet Minneapolis CEO Melvin Tennant both exuded optimism about the 2019 championship. That’s all the more impressive given the timing of our conversations in the run-up to the big (football) game. With LII in the rearview with no real hiccups (unless you count the rough-but-not-disastrous weather weekend) to speak of, I imagine Mortenson and Tennant are feeling even better about next year.

Anyway, read the story; it’s not long. And if you’re a small business owner looking for a high-profile contract, reach out to MLOC’s Impact Advisory Council. They’re still looking for vendors, as far as I know, and this is a fantastic opportunity for women- and minority-owned enterprises especially.

Here’s to hoping the first full weekend of April 2019 is warmer than the first full weekend of February 2018. Safe bet, right?