Minnesota Deer Classic torch passed to National Sports Center

A ceremonial passing of the torch last week marked the final steps in the transition of the Minnesota Deer Classic to the National Sports Center (NSC) campus in Blaine.

Hugh and Helen Price pass the torch of Minnesota Deer Classic ownership to Greg Savino, who will be the new Deer Classic director for the National Sports Center in Blaine. Photo by Barclay Kruse

Hugh and Helen Price pass the torch of Minnesota Deer Classic ownership to Greg Savino, who will be the new Deer Classic director for the National Sports Center in Blaine. Photo by Barclay Kruse

With the passing, Hugh Price, the long-time owner of the iconic 30-year old event, formally released the Deer Classic from its longtime home at the State Fair Coliseum to the NSC.

The relocated Deer Classic – one of the upper midwest’s largest hunting shows – is tentatively scheduled for Friday through Sunday, March 1-3, 2013, and is projected to draw 6,000 to 10,000 attendees at its new venue, said Barclay Kruse, the NSC’s chief communications officer.

According to Classic Director Greg Savino, the NSC will be able to offer new activities not feasible at the State Fairgrounds.

Other available space at the NSC might also be used for events that would attract a hunting audience, Savino said.

“You might see an archery 3D competition, an antler hunting event or other creative enhancements we’re working on. You might even see outdoor events,” the director said.

The Deer Classic will have a strong commitment to education, with seminars and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend.

Price started the Minnesota Deer Classic in 1982. Earlier this year, he indicated a desire to sell the show and retire. The NSC and Price have been in discussions about the classic for several months.

“We’re proud to be able to step in and continue the tradition of the Minnesota Deer Classic,” said Savino.

“We’re respectful of everything Hugh has built with this event. For him, it has been a labor of love and a way to invest in building the Minnesota hunting resource. We hope to continue his proud legacy,” he said.

The Minnesota Deer Classic joins the NSC’s growing number of outdoor sports shows, including the inaugural Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo (Nov. 16-18), the Minnesota Anglers Expo (Feb. 8-10, 2013) and the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo (March 22-24, 2013).

All these shows will be based at the Schwan Center, and they all will utilize the new 21,000 square-foot Sport Expo Center as their primary exhibit space.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com


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