The University of Minnesota worked with Meet Minneapolis and other key partners in securing the 2018 Women’s Volleyball Final Four and a 2021 Men’s Basketball Regional Final, both to be held at the transformed Target Center. U.S. Bank Stadium will be the host venue of the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The 2021 Men’s Gymnastics Championships will be held at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus.
In other major event news, Mark Ritchie, CEO of Expo 2023 Minnesota has reported that the bill authorizing the United States to rejoin the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) has passed the U.S House of Representatives with a unanimous voice vote and now the U.S. Senate is poised to take up the issue. This action is a vital step in the Expo bid process that will culminate in a decision by BIE member countries in November of this year. The Expo could attract as many as 12 million people over its 90-day run.
Added to all of this great activity is the potential for an additional future Final Four and the opportunity to once again pursue the College Football Playoff (CFP). Both bid processes will begin later this year with decisions expected in 2018. The next open years for the NCAA Final Four will be 2023-2025 and for the CFP, 2021-2023. So, if you're keeping score, we will be faced with bidding on another Final Four before we host our 2019 event.
So as we review the timeline for major events, we could be on a roll for a very busy next few years. It’s also important for us to monitor any signs of community burnout in securing and hosting all of these great opportunities in both human and financial resources. We may eventually find ourselves in a position of picking and choosing those opportunities which best suit the properties of our community. But it is gratifying that the groundwork that has been laid over many years, elevating Minneapolis’ profile as a major event destination, is paying off.