This blog post is going to show my age because it's spiced with "back in my day" reminiscences. I've been part of the National Sports Center in one way or another for 20 years. I was around when the Schwan Super Rink was built. I was around when Victory Links Golf Course opened. I witnessed the Schwan Center opening its doors and this summer expanding with the new Sport Expo Center.
I remember lots of weekends around campus over the years where very little happened on weekends in the fall or spring, the shoulder season between the end of outdoor soccer and beginning of winter hockey. However, a weekend like the one coming up has become more the norm around here than the exception.
The NSC Fall Cup soccer tournament has been around for seven years now and has the distinction of being the second largest soccer event we run behind USA CUP. We'll welcome 282 teams Saturday and Sunday from around the upper midwest. That alone would make this a jammed weekend up here. We never would have imagined back in 2005 that we could host close to 300 teams in early October but that's the new reality.
But as we've proven over the last few years, we're now big enough and diverse enough in our facilities that we can hold large events simultaneously. So while the Fall Cup is swirling all around the campus this weekend, we're also hosting the Midwest Family Pet Expo for the first time at the Schwan Center. This show is a pet lover’s dream that will combine pet vendors and family entertainment for all pet owners and enthusiasts. This is truly a multi-faceted show with shopping, education and entertainment.
Now's the time I sound like one of those late-night pitch men: but wait, there's more! We're not only hosting 282 soccer teams and the pet expo, but due to the Minnesota Stars FC playoff victory in Puerto Rico last week, we're also hosting a North American Soccer League seminfinal playoff match Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the NSC Stadium. The Stars will face regular-season champs San Antonio Scorpions in the first leg of a home and home series.
The crazy thing about this weekend is that there are now so many weekends like this, where we have multiple large events happening at the same time on campus. Just all part of the new normal for a facility that's grown and matured to become an economic engine for the north suburbs.
Makes me happy to reminesce about quiet weekends in October and know those days are long behind us!
Tag(s): NSC Blog