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Mayo Clinic to play role in 2018 Super Bowl

Minnesota's successful bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl included a commitment from Mayo Clinic to share its expertise on sports medicine and injury prevention at the event.

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Minnesota's successful bid to host the 2018 Super Bowl included a commitment from Mayo Clinic to share its expertise on sports medicine and injury prevention at the event.

Dr. Patricia Simmons, an executive at Mayo Clinic, said Twin Cities business leaders first approached the clinic a couple of months ago to see if Mayo would want to be involved in Super Bowl-related activities, should Minnesota win the bidding.

"We agreed this was a real opportunity to help bring the Super Bowl to Minnesota because we thought that was a good thing for Minnesota and we wanted to be part of trying to make that work," Simmons said.

Mayo Clinic's willingness to participate was part of the pitch made to NFL owners. One possibility would be that the clinic would sponsor clinics for coaches of all levels focused on accident prevention and ways to keep athletes healthy. But Simmons said at this point the plan is in the concept phase and all the details still need to be worked out.

"We're talking about using this opportunity to draw attention to healthy ways of engaging in sports and physical activity," Simmons said.

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This fall, Mayo Clinic's sports medicine facility in downtown Minneapolis' former Block E retail complex is set to open. By the time of the 2018 Super Bowl, Simmons said Mayo Clinic's sports medicine presence in downtown Minneapolis will be well established.

In many ways, Simmons said Mayo Clinic's participation in the Super Bowl is a natural fit.

"Mayo Clinic has really an extraordinary history and activity today in sports medicine with teams and athletes at every level," she said.

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