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About the National Sports Center

History of National Sports Center

The National Sports Center is the world's largest amateur sports and meeting facility. The NSC campus operates over 100 unique programs and events in a variety of sports as well as hosting numerous national and international competitions annually that in total draws over 4 million visitors a year. The NSC is a priceless, innovative and unique state asset.

The NSC has a dual mission:

  • To generate out-of-state economic impact through amateur sports events and programs. In an independent study of the NSC by the State of Minnesota Office of Analysis and Evaluation, the NSC produces over $38 million of out-of-state economic impact annually. Out-of-state visitors generate $2.3 million of taxes to the state annually, and $800,000 in annual local taxes.
  • To provide amateur sports opportunities to Minnesota residents. Even though the NSC has produced impressive out-of-state economic impact, the fact remains that the bulk of visitors are Minnesota residents – 92 percent, in fact. These are families and athletes who play in leagues and tournaments, attend events as spectators, buy tickets to non-sport events and play on the golf course. On an average day there are 12 different programs and events taking place at the NSC, and most service the local community.

The complex opened in 1990 and was built by the State of Minnesota as part of a statewide building program to improve Minnesota’s amateur sports facilities.

The complex is a 600-acre multi-sport facility located in Blaine, Minnesota. The campus includes the eight-sheet Schwan Super Rink; a 8,500-seat stadium; the Schwan Center meeting and events building; a multi-faceted family golf center; the National Youth Golf Center, which features the 18-hole Victory Links course; an indoor Sports Hall with a FieldTurf field; 250-meter all wood cycling velodrome, 150-bed residence hall and 52 athletic fields. The facility has welcomed over 36 million visitors since its opening in 1990. The NSC generates over $38 million in annual out-of-state economic impact.

Even though most of the facility development and land purchases were made with State of Minnesota funding, the facility is operated by a non-profit corporation, the National Sports Center Foundation (NSCF). The NSCF operates the facility on a self-supporting basis. State funds were used to build the facility, but no operating subsidy is provided. The original state investment was $14.7 million, and to date the State has invested just over $20 million in the NSC campus. Since 2000 however, the NSC Foundation has financed the majority of an ambitious construction phase through private investment. About 2/3 of the new National Youth Golf Center was financed privately, as was 100% of the construction of four new sheets of ice at the Schwan Super Rink, and a portion of the development of the Schwan Center meeting and events facility.

More information on the mission and structure of the National Sports Center Foundation.

The Schwan Super Rink was funded by a cooperative of eleven local governmental partners along with the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC). The partners include the cities of Arden Hills, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Lino Lakes, Mounds View, New Brighton, Shoreview, as well as Ramsey and Anoka Counties. Total construction cost was $11 million. The $10 million Super Rink expansion was also built with non-state money. Partners include Centennial, Blaine and Tri-City Youth Hockey Associations, the Herb Brooks Foundation and Bethel University, all of which made an initial investment and then pay off the construction bonds through the sales of ice time.

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