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Events at the National Sports Center accounted for more than $83 million in economic impact over the past year

08/23/2018, 4:45pm CDT
By Barclay Kruse, NSC Chief Communications Officer

Blaine, Minn. (August 23, 2018) – A newly released report from the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine reveals that sports events at the NSC over the past year generated more than $83 million in visitor economic impact. The report calculated spending from tourism events held over the period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

The report quantified the economic benefits generated by visitors traveling more than 50 miles and staying overnight, and tracked spending in lodging, transportation, food and beverage, retail, recreation, business services, and venue rental.

Action from the North American Hockey League Showcase tournament. When combined, the five hockey tournaments produced by the NAHL and held at the NSC, were number #2 on the list of biggest economic impact events at the NSC.

The National Sports Center uses a calculator developed by Destinations International, a trade organization of visitor bureaus. It is one of the most-used and most-recognized economic impact calculators of tourism revenue.

“There is no longer any question that sports tourism is a major generator of tourism revenue,” said National Sports Center Executive Director Todd Johnson. “And specific to amateur sports the Wall Street Journal reported that it’s currently a $17 billion industry and will grow to $41 billion in the next five years.

“Creating economic impact through sports events is a key part of the NSC’s mission, and we’re proud to be the major economic impact engine in amateur sports in Minnesota.”

Spending by local visitors is not included in the Destinations International calculator, but local spending produces significant additional impact to the City of Blaine, Anoka County and the Twin Cities.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers, and a summary of the top ten economic impact-producing events held at the National Sports Center.

For the year July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018:

  • 64 NSC events produced tourism spending that totaled:
  • Direct spending of $53.6 million
    Direct spending is a dollar-for-dollar calculation of money spent by visitors.
  • Economic impact (multiplier factored in) of $83.9 million
    The multiplier accounts for the fact that money recirculates in the economy.
  • Total local tax revenue of $898,000

Top ten NSC economic-impact events of 2017-2018

1. Schwan’s USA CUP soccer (July 2017) - $25.0 million #

2. NAHL hockey tournaments (September 2017-February 2018) (5 events counted together) - $14.9 million *

3. USA Ultimate Youth Club & U.S. Open Championship (August 2017) - $4.2 million *

4. Tier I Elite Hockey League Tournament (February 2018) - $3.9 million *

5. All-American Cup soccer (June 2018) - $3.0 million #

6. Upper Great Lakes Figure Skating Championship (August 2017) - $2.3 million *

7. Spring Cup soccer (May 2018) - $2.1 million #

8. USYS Region II ODP Showcase soccer (June 2018) - $1.9 million *

9. Fall Cup soccer (October 2017) - $1.6 million #

10. USA Rugby 7’s National Championship (August 2017) - $1.6 million *

* Outside bid event
# NSC-owned event

For a complete list of all 64 events that went into this calculation, and the economic impact data for each, contact Barclay Kruse at


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