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Governor Dayton to Open USA Cup at National Sports Center in Blaine

July 15, 2014

Youth soccer tournament will bring over $20 million of economic activity to Minnesota
State investment will expand largest soccer complex in the world, add 20 new athletic fields

BLAINE, MN – Just two months after signing the 2014 Jobs Bill into law, which invested $3.2 million in the expansion of the National Sports Center in Blaine, Governor Mark Dayton will participate this evening in the Opening Ceremonies of the 30th Annual Schwan’s USA Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament. Governor Dayton will welcome soccer players and fans from around the world to Minnesota, and participate in a “Handshake for Peace” with Norwegian soccer star Jan Aage.
Tens of thousands of athletes and soccer fans are expected to descend on the Twin Cities this week for the USA Cup. The tournament is held every year at the National Sports Center – the largest soccer complex in the world. This year’s event includes 1,060 youth soccer teams, and more than 15,000 players from 21 states and 19 different countries. The tournament brings more than $20.4 million of economic activity into Minnesota every year.
Jobs Bill Adding 20 New Athletic Fields to National Sports Center
With 46 soccer fields in one location, the National Sports Center is already the largest soccer complex in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Each year over 4 million people visit the National Sports Center for the USA Cup and a host of other events and tournaments – more than any other sports facility in the state. In fact, more athletes and fans visit the National Sports Center in Blaine than Target Field and the Xcel Energy Center combined.
Thanks to a new state investment made last session by Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature, those numbers are likely to grow. A $3.2 million investment included in the 2014 Jobs Bill will help finance the construction of 20 more athletic fields at the Sports Center for soccer, lacrosse, and rugby – expanding the facility by more than 43 percent. These improvements will help draw more events to the state, and allow tournaments like the USA Cup to continue growing in the years ahead.