How the MCC Impacts the Community Each Year

Impact on Local Hospitality Businesses

It’s no surprise that events, both large or small, can have a major impact to the direct area of a convention center and its city. Attendees stay in hotels, dine out, go shopping. It is, however, easy to forget the magnitude of this impact to additional businesses and services within the hospitality community.

In 2019, the Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) helped sustain over 8,000 hospitality jobs in the city. Those jobs were supported in part by the 348 events at the MCC drawing nearly 864,000 attendees. In addition to hotels and restaurants, hospitality businesses include transportation, florists, AV/Lighting services, photographers, airports, entertainers such as Rem5 or Top Golf, museums, theaters, bike tours, etc.

This effort is nothing short than teamwork at its best. We all work together as an industry to host attendees and make Minneapolis unforgettable. This impact can have lasting results past its initial fiscal rewards, too. When attendees experience a city like ours, they want to return – whether that’s to vacation with friends and family, continue hosting their business events, or even become residents themselves.

COVID-19 has been both humbling and devastating for the entire industry. We feel and see the impact throughout our entire community. Our entire executive team has worked endlessly to monitor not only the pandemic itself but the actions being taken within the industry as well as scientifically and politically. This has allowed us to continue making the best decisions for the safety of our staff and guests. We take great responsibility knowing how much of a leader we are within our industry and community, and we will continue moving down the path of a safe recovery.

MCC Community Grant Program

Striving to be the best convention center for our community is one of our main missions here at the MCC. We have established multiple programs that work to achieve this mission and allow us to impact the community, not only economically but also by providing a space for activity and gathering. One of these initiatives is the Community Grant Program. This program provides an opportunity for local non-profit, government, or community groups wishing to meet at the MCC to apply to receive free rent for occupancy in specific areas of the Convention Center.

Historically, these events have included groups like the STEM Expo with Minneapolis Public Schools, which is a career exploration expo for all Minneapolis 8th grade students to explore various careers focused in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Another event that has utilized our Community Grant Program is Minneapolis’ Community Connections Conference. This free event provides an opportunity for residents, community groups, neighborhoods, and local government to connect, network, and learn from each other.

At their event hosted earlier this year, their welcoming ceremony featured local groups such as the Titambe West African Dance Ensemble, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli Aztec Dancers, Lao Women Friendship Club, the Somali Museum Dance Troupe, and Native American dancers Joe Artishon and Miiskogihmiiwan Poupart-Chapman.

One of the most distinctive groups that have participated in this program was the 2018 MN Mission of Mercy, hosted by the Minnesota Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Foundation. This two-day event brought together over 1,500 volunteers including dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, dental therapists, translators, and lay volunteers – providing free dental care to 2,000 patients who otherwise had limited to no access to care, including both adults and children.

Hospitality Taxes + Economic Impact

In 2019, the MCC generated $19 million in hospitality taxes deriving from sales and use taxes such as liquor, food, and lodging in downtown Minneapolis where tourism and activity is prominent. In return, this provides funding for the MCC as well as major downtown assets such as the Target Center and Peavey Plaza - altogether working to maintain and revitalize Minneapolis’ downtown. Additionally, these taxes are also used to support groups that support Minneapolis such as Meet Minneapolis, a non-profit organization that promotes the Minneapolis community as a viable convention site and visitor destination

Economic impact is the estimated amount of monies spent by attendees while in Minneapolis for an event. This includes direct spending at places including hotels, restaurants, and parking as well as indirect spending such as increased wages paid to employees at said restaurants and hotels, generated by the demand of increased visitors. In 2019, the MCC estimated a $316 million economic impact to Minneapolis. As a state, tourism plays a major role to the overall well-being of Minnesota. Explore Minnesota, Minnesota’s travel and tourism group, breaks down just how important this industry is including an annual, state-wide, impact of $16 billion in gross sales, 273,000 full- and part-time jobs, and a significantly lowered tax rate a household pays due to the monies generated by hospitality taxes.

MCC Employment + Partners

The amount of work to make an event a success takes multiple teams of skilled people. The MCC itself employs over 200 people and partners with additional companies including Meet Minneapolis, Kelber Catering, BEST Security, Smart City, and The UPS Store. Clients experience this dynamic structure through seven phases:

Internal staff initiatives

Throughout the year, the MCC staff works together to raise money and donate supplies to various organizations. This 100% staff-led initiative is organized and executed by the internal Peer Engagement Committee. In 2019, the staff collected 242 toys for Toys for Tots, 700 school supplies for the Kids in Need Foundation back-to-school drive, and 12 boxes full of hats, mittens, scarves, and boots for Central Lutheran Church’s Restoration Center. They also raised $236 for Be the Match, $105 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and $165 for Second Harvest Heartland.

Movies Under the Domes

The MCC values the community. The work we do, the people we employ, and the space we provide is all accomplished with the community in mind. In 2019, the MCC launched Movies Under the Domes, a program designed to elevate our engagement with the community. Movies Under the Domes is a series of four movies, over four months, for free.  The intention for this program is to provide a fun way for local community members, from both Minneapolis and surrounding areas, to not only enjoy a free movie but to experience a slice of the MCC that’s just for them. And it does just that!