National Sports Center

Last updated

National Sports Center
Location Blaine, Minnesota
Owner State of Minnesota
Operator National Sports Center Foundation
Capacity 10,000 [1]
Surface Natural grass
Broke ground 1987 (money appropriated)
Opened 1990
Construction cost $20.3 million (facility)
Architect none
Minnesota Thunder (1990–1993); (USL) (1994–2003) (2008–2009)
Minnesota United FC (NASL) (2010–2016)
Minnesota Wind Chill (AUDL) (2013–present)
Official Website

The National Sports Center (NSC) is a 600-acre multi-sport complex located in Blaine, Minnesota. It includes a soccer stadium, over 50 full-sized soccer fields, a golf course, a velodrome, a meeting and convention facility, and an eight-sheet ice rink, the Schwan Super Rink, which is the largest ice arena in the world. The National Sports Center has hosted numerous National and World Championship events in soccer, hockey, figure skating, short track speedskating, broomball, rugby, ultimate and lacrosse. The National Sports Center opened in 1990 after 1987 legislature created the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC) and appropriated $14.7 million for the construction of the NSC. The facility welcomes over 3.8 million visitors annually, making it the most-visited sports facility in the state of Minnesota.

Blaine, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Blaine is a city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the State of Minnesota. The population was 57,186 at the 2010 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.

Velodrome arena for track cycling

A velodrome is an arena for track cycling. Modern velodromes feature steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights. The straights transition to the circular turn through a moderate easement curve.

Schwan Super Rink

The Schwan Super Rink is a 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) ice rink facility that features eight sheets of ice and is the largest ice arena complex in the world. It is located on the National Sports Center campus in Blaine, Minnesota, a northern suburb of Minneapolis – Saint Paul. The title sponsor of the Super Rink is the Schwan Food Company, a Minnesota corporation based in Marshall, Minnesota.


The Herb Brooks Foundation, the foundation created by the hockey coach's family, has partnered with the National Sports Center to develop the Herb Brooks Training Center, a state-of-the-art dryland and ice hockey training facility that is part of the Schwan Super Rink.

Each July, the National Sports Center plays host to Schwan's USA CUP, the largest soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere with over 1,100 teams and participants from 19 countries. [2] [3] [4]

Mission and governance

The mission of the National Sports Center is two-fold: 1) to create out-of-state economic impact for Minnesota through amateur sports events, and 2) to create sports and fitness opportunities for Minnesota residents. The NSC is operated by the National Sports Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Even though the facility is a State of Minnesota facility, and operations are overseen by the MASC, the NSC receives no operating subsidy from the state, and it is a self-supporting operation.

NSC Stadium

The NSC Stadium has a large grandstand along the west sideline of the field and smaller grandstands on the opposite sideline and on either end. The United States women's national soccer team has played four home matches at the NSC, including international matches against Canada, Australia, Norway and Sweden. Mia Hamm scored her 150th international goal at the NSC in a 3–0 victory over Australia in 2004. The NSC has also hosted men's U.S. national team U-17 and U-20 matches. The largest crowd in NSC history was for a 2001 women's soccer match between the United States and Canada, when 15,615 fans watched a 1–0 U.S. victory. The playing field is 118x75 yards.

United States womens national soccer team womens national association football team representing the United States

The United States women's national soccer team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic women's gold medals, eight CONCACAF Gold Cups, and ten Algarve Cups. It medaled in every single World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF.

Canada womens national soccer team womens national association football team representing Canada

The Canada women's national soccer team is overseen by the Canadian Soccer Association and competes in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Australia womens national soccer team womens national association football team representing Australia

The Australian women's national soccer team is overseen by the governing body for soccer in Australia, Football Federation Australia (FFA), which is currently a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the regional ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) since leaving the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) in 2006. The team's official nickname is the Matildas, having been known as the Female Socceroos before 1995.

The NSC played host to the now-defunct Minnesota Thunder of the USL First Division. The stadium served as the Thunder's home from 1990 to 2003 and from May 24, 2008, until the end of the 2009 season when the team folded.

Minnesota Thunder American professional soccer team

Minnesota Thunder was an American professional soccer team based in Minnesota, United States. Founded in 1990, the team played in the USL First Division (USL-1), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, until 2009. The team played its home games at the National Sports Center in nearby Blaine, Minnesota for its final two seasons. The team's colors were navy blue, light blue, silver, and white.

USL First Division association football league

The United Soccer Leagues First Division was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico from 2005 to 2010.

For the 2010 season the NSC Minnesota Stars (now Minnesota United FC) were founded to replace the Minnesota Thunder in the North American Soccer League, and the Stars played their home games at the stadium. The Stars were the champions of the inaugural season of the re-instituted North American Soccer League. Minnesota United FC used the stadium as their home ground until they moved to TCF Bank Stadium after joining Major League Soccer in 2017.

Minnesota United FC American first-division professional soccer team

Minnesota United FC is an American professional soccer club based in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area that plays in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The club began play in 2017 as the league's 22nd club, and replaced the North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise of the same name.

TCF Bank Stadium home venue of the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team

TCF Bank Stadium is an outdoor stadium located on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 2009, it is the home field of the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten Conference, and was the temporary home of Minnesota United FC of Major League Soccer. The stadium also served as the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2014 and 2015 seasons during the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium. The 50,805-seat "horseshoe" style stadium cost $303.3 million to build and is designed to support future expansion to seat up to 80,000.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League. The league plans to expand to 27 teams with the addition of Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC in 2020 and Austin FC in 2021, with further plans to expand to 28 teams by 2022 and 30 teams at a later date.

Coordinates: 45°09′27″N93°13′33.33″W / 45.15750°N 93.2259250°W / 45.15750; -93.2259250

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  1. "NSC Stadium".
  2. "Story of Schwan's USA CUP". Schwan's USA CUP. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  3. "Meet the Team: Schwan's USA Cup". ABC Newspapers. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  4. "Schwan's USA Cup Kicks Off Nine Days of Soccer Friday: 1,178 Teams and 2,524 Games". KSTP-TV. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.