Sports Minneapolis Named National “Sports Commission of the Year”

The honor was announced by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) at its annual symposium being held in Knoxville, TN


Minneapolis (May 8, 2019) – Today, Sports Minneapolis was named the “Sports Commission of the Year” by the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) at its annual symposium in Knoxville, TN. This honor is bestowed upon the “organization that has demonstrated exceptional impact on its community through sports and visitor spending during the previous calendar year.” In recognizing the regional nature of Sports Minneapolis’ work to bid on, secure and support sports events throughout the metro area, this award category represents markets with a population size of 500,000 and greater. Sports Minneapolis is the sports marketing arm of Meet Minneapolis.
“We are extremely honored to receive this award. It’s important industry recognition for the significant work of our organization to solicit, secure and assist in executing events,” stated Sports Minneapolis Executive Director and Meet Minneapolis President and CEO Melvin Tennant. “We started 2018 by hosting the Super Bowl, followed by the X Games, WNBA All-Star Game, and NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship.”

Tennant continued, “These phenomenal events, along with the approximately 70 additional events Sports Minneapolis booked in 2018 for future years, elevate our community as a championship-caliber host region. In addition, the strength of our regional partnerships with St. Paul and Bloomington are real assets, particularly for mega events like the Super Bowl. Large and small sporting events help support tourism and hospitality workers and bring positive economic impact to the area.”

The Sports Minneapolis nomination for Sports Commission of the Year also highlighted its work to secure another premier NCAA championship event. In 2018, the NCAA awarded Minneapolis the 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four – a bid Sports Minneapolis presented along with the University of Minnesota and Target Center. Sports Minneapolis will serve as the local organizing committee for the women’s championship event.
“We are very happy for Sports Minneapolis and this well-deserved recognition," University of Minnesota senior associate athletics director Tom McGinnis said. "They have been a strong partner as we have worked to bring the NCAA’s most premier events in college athletics to our community. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with them to provide remarkable experiences not only for the teams and fans we welcome, but for everyone in our community." 
While the Sports Commission of the Year award only focused on 2018, Sports Minneapolis has successfully continued to win major events and future championships for the region including:

  • 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four
  • 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • 2019 USA Taekwondo National Championships
  • 2019 X Games
  • 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
  • 2020 USA Volleyball Open National Championship
  • 2020 X Games
  • 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Gymnastics Championships 
  • 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional
  • 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four  

Sports Minneapolis, as a dedicated entity within Meet Minneapolis has successfully secured major sports events going back to the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Prior to that, Meet Minneapolis had decades of success in bringing professional and amateur rotating events to the region like the 1992 Super Bowl and 2001 NCAA Final Four. 
The Sports Commission of the Year is award is presented by the NASC; sports commissions, sports councils, and sports authorities are eligible for the award. NASC states on its website that it is the “non-profit 501(c)3 trade association for the sport tourism industry in the United States.” It represents sports commissions, destinations, sports events holders and other industry partners nationwide.



Sports Minneapolis leads the region in bidding, winning and executing major professional and amateur sporting events that impact the city of Minneapolis and beyond. Sports Minneapolis, a division within Meet Minneapolis, has played a major role in securing events such as the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four, Major League Baseball All-Star Game, USA Girls’ Jr. Volleyball, CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer, X Games and more. Amateur and professional sports events increase visitor spending and tax revenue that benefits the local community.

Sports Minneapolis and its partners, including the University of Minnesota, have secured upcoming NCAA championships and major events, such as the 2020 Division I Wrestling Championships, 2021 Division I Men’s Gymnastics Championships, and the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Regional, In addition, Sports Minneapolis and its partners will be the local organizing committee for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four. For more information on Sports Minneapolis, visit

Twitter: @Sports_Mpls
Watch: Sports Minneapolis, Meet Minneapolis – Impact: Tourism with Purpose
Kim Insley, Meet Minneapolis Public Relations Manager, 612-767-8118,
Kathy McCarthy, Meet Minneapolis Public Relations Director, 612-767-8048,
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