Third sports expo added to NSC schedule

The National Sports Center (NSC) has added a third outdoor sports expo scheduled for November.

The Hardwater Ice Fishing Expo will use the new NSC Sports Expo Center as well as existing space in the nearby Schwan Center.

The Nov. 16-18 ice fishing expo was announced June 28.

“Our ice fishing expo will allow guests to ensure they have everything they need before there’s ice on the lakes this winter,” said Greg Savino, NSC campus development manager.

Attendees will be able to buy fishing tackle at pre-season prices, Savino said.

The Hardwater Ice Fishing Expo will be the third in series of new NSC-owned outdoor sports expos.

The Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo has been held at the NSC the last two years. The Minnesota Bass Expo, which premiered this year, will undergo a name change and be known as the Minnesota Angling Expo.

“We’ve been working on this show for six months,” said Barclay Kruse, the NSC’s chief communication officer. “I think we will be able to get this show sold out relatively soon.”

According to Kruse, it’s likely there will be outdoor vendors that will participate in all three of its shows.

“We’re discovering there’s a niche for mid-size outdoor shows in this market that don’t want the big convention space in St. Paul or Minneapolis,” he said.

Kruse did confirm the NSC has talked with Hugh Price, owner of the popular Minnesota Deer Classic.

Price indicated earlier this year that he was ready to sell the antler-packed expo to another party.

“He does want to sell the show,” Kruse said. “We don’t have anything to announce, however. It would be a good market niche for us.”

Snowmobile or ATV shows were also mentioned by Kruse as possible additions to the NSC schedule.

“We don’t have any firm plans on this, but we would be a great site for them,” he said. “If the shows were in the middle of winter, there could be product testing right outside of our doors.”

In addition, a pet show operated by a promoter with current shows in Mankato and Duluth comes to Blaine this fall, Kruse said.

“We’ve discovered there’s a demand for expo buildings of this size,” Kruse said, referring to the new NSC Sports Expo Hall.

“It fits a market niche. We’ll have a mix of events that we own, and rentals coming in.”

For more about the Hardwater Ice Fishing Expo, visit click here.

Tim Hennagir is at