This weekend looks to be one of the biggest of the year at the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine, with the staging of two of the bigger annual events at the facility – one brand new, the other with a long tradition.
The new event will be the premier of the first Minnesota Bass Expo, April 20-22. This year the new bass expo will be held in the NSC’s indoor sports hall. For 2013, the event will move into the NSC’s new Sport Expo Center.
The traditional event is the 14th annual Stick It to Cancer hockey tournament, also April 20-22, at the Schwan Super Rink. Teaming with the Schwan Super Rink, female hockey players and their families created the tournament in 1998 as a way of fighting breast cancer through the sport they love. Since its inception, the tournament has become the National Sports Center’s largest and most-visible charity event.
Ticket holders to either the bass expo or the Stick it to Cancer tournament will be able to take advantage of a one ticket for both policy. Buy a ticket to either event, and the ticket will be good for admission to the other.
About the Minnesota Bass Expo
This inaugural event will give fishermen a great opportunity to preview the latest tackle, electronics, gear and boats, just ahead of the opening of fishing season. As of April 16, space has been sold for 90 booths representing 140 different companies. This event will raise funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“This is not just a bass show,” said expo director Greg Savino. “We have every major fishing company attending the show, making products for walleye, pike, trout and muskie fishing, as well as bass, of course.”
The Minnesota Bass Expo is a property owned by the National Sports Center.
Hours are Friday, April 20, 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, April 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is adults, $10 per day or $20 for three days; seniors, $8 per day or $16 for three days; students, $6 per day or $12 for three days. Children age 12 and under admitted free.
For a seminar schedule, visit www.nscsports.org/community/sport_expos/mn_bass_expo_seminars.stm. For full expo information, visit www.nscsports.org/community/sport_expos/mn_bass_expo.stm.
About the Stick it to Cancer hockey tournament
Over 100 teams from throughout the Midwest annually play in this tournament to support this worthy cause. Last year’s tournament raised a record $70,000 to help combat breast cancer. The beneficiary will be the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center.
Tournament hours are Friday, April 20, 5 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, April 22, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For game schedules, visit www.nscsports.org/sports/hockey/tourneys/stick_it/sched_results.stm.
Spectator admission: All-tournament pass, $20 for adults, $15 for students (7-18 years old.) Daily pass, $8 for adults, $6 for students (7-18 years old). Children six and under are admitted free.
The dad’s Belgian waffle breakfast will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the National Sports Center’s Residence Hall Cafeteria. The prices for the breakfast are $6 for adults, $4 for children 4-12 and free for children three and under.
Full tournament information is available at www.nscsports.org/sports/hockey/tourneys/stick_it/index.stm.
About the new Sport Expo Center, scheduled to open in early June
The total space of the new addition is projected to be 21,420 square feet, with a single clear-span room with projected dimensions of 100 feet by 180 feet (18,000 square feet) and a 26-foot high ceiling. The facility will be able to accommodate up to 130 exhibit booths.
The new space will be approximately one-third the size of the existing NSC Sports Hall.
The new Sport Expo Center will be adjacent to the 15,500 square-foot Schwan Center, which offers meeting rooms for small groups up to 300 person capacity events. The two facilities together will provide an ideal venue for shows and expos, with the new addition best suited for exhibit booths and the existing Schwan Center providing space for meetings, seminars and banquets.
The new facility will be financed with the city of Blaine’s authority to issue conduit financing. No city funds or any other public money will be used on this project; the revenue from the new facility will be used to service the financing, which will be provided privately. The involvement by the city of Blaine allows the NSC to get a tax-exempt interest rate.