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.


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.

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.

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.

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


  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.