Minneapolis (Sept. 13, 2017) - Today, Sports Minneapolis, Powered by Meet Minneapolis, announces the first-ever Minnesota Sports Awards -- a gala event that celebrates the best of sports in Minnesota over the past year – which will take place Dec. 13, 2017, from 5-9 p.m. at Target Center. From the athletes who have inspired us to the moments that captivated us, the awards will honor the success stories that embody the spirit of sports in Minnesota. Fans from across Minnesota are invited to nominate athletes in designated categories leading up to one memorable evening that shines a spotlight on the impact of sports in our state.
The evening’s awards show, dinner and entertainment will feature appearances by some of Minnesota’s best known athletes and sports legends, all teaming up to honor the high school, collegiate and professional athletes and sports figures who have shaped our sports scene and contributed to our communities. Award categories are:
High School Athlete of the Year
Awarded to the high school athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season.
Collegiate Athlete of the Year
Awarded to the collegiate athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season.
Professional Athlete of the Year
Awarded to the professional athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season. Presented by FOX Sports North.
Minnesota Sports Moment of the Year Award
Recognizing a single sports moment from a game or competition in the past year that energized Minnesota sports fans, displayed remarkable athletic skill or demonstrated incredible sportsmanship.
Awarded to an athlete or other sports figure who overcame significant challenges on or off the playing field, inspiring others with their courage, perseverance and determination.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded to a person who has dedicated their career to furthering the success of sports in Minnesota and whose achievements have made a significant impact on the community over many years.
FOX Sports North will live stream the event, as well as produce an edited special to air on FOX Sports North at a later date.
PUBLIC MAY SUBMIT NOMINATIONS BY OCT. 13
Fans of Minnesota sports from all over the state should visit www.minnesotasportsawards.com and submit nominations now through Oct. 13, 2017. Nominees will be determined by the nominating committee selected by Sport Minneapolis Board of Directors with finalists and winners announced live on stage at the gala on Dec. 13.
Questions about the Minnesota Sports Awards can be submitted directly to MinnesotaSportsAwards@SportsMinneapolis.org.
Individual tickets and tables for the gala event at Target Center start at $195 and are available for purchase at http://www.sportsminneapolis.org/minnesota-sports-awards/ticket-information. The evening will include dinner, entertainment and a silent auction.
MINNESOTA PROFESSIONAL TEAMS PROVIDE SUPPORT
Minnesota’s six major professional sports teams and the University of Minnesota are all Founding Partners of Sports Minneapolis. One representative from each organization sits on the Sports Minneapolis Board of Directors, and have collaborated with Sports Minneapolis to create the Minnesota Sports Awards and the Ultimate Sports Ticket.
“The Minnesota Twins organization applauds Sports Minneapolis on the creation of the Minnesota Sports Awards,” said Dave St. Peter, president and CEO. “The vision for the Minnesota Sports Awards is truly a celebration of the state’s rich sports community. The Twins look forward to collaborating with others to ensure the development of a signature event designed to recognize deserving teams, athletes, coaches, executives and fans.”
“The Minnesota Wild is proud to support the first-ever Minnesota Sports Award gala event that will help recognize and honor the best athletes and stories from all around our great state,” said Mitch Helgerson, senior vice president, Marketing and Ticket Sales.
“We are honored to take part in the first-ever Minnesota Sports Awards and we thank our friends at Sports Minneapolis for putting together this great event,” said Timberwolves & Lynx CEO Ethan Casson. “Minnesota has not only a great professional sports landscape, but also incredible programs at all ages to develop young athletes. At the Timberwolves and Lynx, we’re dedicated to growing the game we love, and we are glad our state will have this platform to recognize the contributions of those who make this such a great community in which to play sports.”
“To bring all our professional sports teams together in celebration of the best of Minnesota sports shows a tremendous spirit of collaboration and teamwork,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “This unprecedented event provides an opportunity to recognize Minnesota athletes of all levels and raise funds dedicated to Sports Minneapolis’ continued focus on bringing major sporting events to our state.”
“For us, as a soccer team, sport is a global phenomenon, and we have players who come from all over the world. But we believe they come here for a reason, and that's because Minnesota is a great state for sports at all levels, from rec leagues to high schools to colleges to the pros,” said Nick Rogers, president, Minnesota United FC. “The Minnesota Sports Awards are recognizing athletes at all levels, and that’s one of the biggest reasons Minnesota United is supporting them."
“At its best, sports offers us the opportunity to celebrate some of the key traits and qualities that we want to see in leaders and role models. It's easy to lose sight of the amazing things athletic competition can teach us over the course of the year,” said Mark Coyle, University of Minnesota athletics director. “The Minnesota Sports Awards is a night that embraces this great aspect of sports, an event for us all to relive the best moments of the previous year and recognize Minnesota athletes and coaches who have achieved, persevered and excelled."
“Sports are the number one reason people visit Minneapolis and are a major economic driver for tourism in our region,” said Melvin Tennant, executive director, Sports Minneapolis and president & CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “Sports Minneapolis, powered by Meet Minneapolis, is proud to have the support of all our major professional teams and the University of Minnesota for this new event and for the work we do to bring athletes and fans to the area. We could not succeed without teamwork, and that is something this community excels in.”
Anyone interested in sponsorships should contact Ross Slovensky at RossS@sportsminneapolis.org.