SportsEvents Magazine

JUN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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June 2018 28 www.sportseventsmagazine.com t SPECIAL Feature and we do not open a single building until it is largely fully programmed. That's the best way to guarantee our longevity. That's the core of our business. Good events come and go but our own Schwan's U.S. Soccer Cup is a multi-million-dollar revenue generator and that's our guarantee. We don't depend on outbidding. Those were lessons we learned in the first year. We lost money but realized we had to change and create our own events for sustainability." Kruse said NSC does still bid on certain events and the facility rental income for tournaments is also important to the business structure but it's the thousands of youth soccer players, professional sports team partnerships and player support de- veloped over years of play on campus that seems to be the key to success, as well as the community involvement and commit- ment. "Right now, I'm standing on a terrace looking at the site of a new elementary school that is being built on the campus," Kruse said. "It will have 600 students and will open in September. That's keeping us busy. It's a public school and a local school district. When that school opens, we will have early-morning activities and those children will continue to play here." Kruse said the partnerships and support from the local school district, munici- pality and state government is important but NSC does not receive hotel taxes or other funding, which is so important to other destinations. Working with the local destination management organization, Twin Cities Gateway CVB, is also beneficial to bringing sporting events to the campus. "There is a huge network that works with sports groups on housing," Kruse said. "We have a housing department that manages hotel reservations for all of our own tour- naments and events. Last year, we booked just over 15,000 room nights through our own system. Outside rental events are not compelled to use our system. Some do, but many don't. I would say we could easily double the room night figures each year with groups that go outside our system and swing their own deals with hotels but we have no way of accurately counting those room nights." Groups such as Upper Great Lakes Figure Skating reserves space for its first qualifier for the USA Nationals but handles its own hotel booking and event manage- ment, while other groups leave the heavy lifting up to NSC's staff. Groups also like that the sports campus and many of its buildings and fields are equipped to live-stream events such as hockey games, figure skating and soccer tournaments – another reason why major sporting events choose the NSC for events throughout the year. "We can live-stream from our two feature fields and we have motion sensor cameras through Live Barn installed on every single rink where people can watch through a subscription service," Kruse said. "For major events, we pull out more ►

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