|Owner||State of Minnesota|
|Operator||National Sports Center Foundation|
|Broke ground||1987 (money appropriated)|
|Construction cost||$20.3 million (facility)|
| Minnesota Thunder (1990–1993); (USL) (1994–2003) (2008–2009)|
Minnesota United FC (NASL) (2010–2016)
Minnesota Wind Chill (AUDL) (2013–present)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
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.
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