How Minneapolis escapes the wicked cold in winter

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Thousands are flocking to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, where temperatures will soon tumble back into the single digits.

But we found there is refuge from the cold in the cold -- 11 miles of refuge to be exact.

Boston 25 news anchor Kerry Kavanaugh takes us on a tour of the intricate ‘skyway system’ connecting the downtown.

Two stories up, a series of pedestrian bridges connect downtown Minneapolis and provide 11 miles worth of refuge from the frigid winter temperatures.

“You don’t have to go outside in the winter. It’s fabulous,” Minneapolis resident Laura Myers told Boston 25 News.

The climate controlled corridors make up the Minneapolis ‘Skyway System.’

MORE: 'I just wanted to be part of a team': Tom Brady and his Super Bowl family

Mike Bleakmore co-created the website ‘Skyway Myway’ to help users navigate their way around.

“We’ll give you the distance from point A to point B,” he explained. “So from the Hyatt Regency to the US Bank Stadium, it’s 1.6 miles and you can walk all the way one level, all the way in doors and you can clock how much mileage you’re getting.”

When those Skyways aren’t an option, Minnesotans tell us they, of course, know how to layer up and hit the streets.

But some residents practically live in the Skyway.

“I haven’t been outside in days,” Leif Pettersen told Boston 25 News.

He lives in a skyway connected building.

“There’s no reason to go outside. Everything I could possibly need is Skyway connected. The grocery, my favorite wine shop, my credit union; it’s all in the skyway,” Pettersen said.

The first Skyway went up in 1962. Since then, it has expanded to the current 11-mile system, which is expanding its hours for super bowl week.

While there are plenty of events that will force visitors outdoors to brave the cold, there is some reprieve just two stories up.

We’re told there is a love-hate relationship with the Skyway System in the city, some say it takes away from the vibrancy of downtown at street level.

But that certainly isn’t the case during Super Bowl week.

MORE: Brady's family remembers Minnesota summers spent with "little Tommy"