You don’t need a killer arm, a world-class kick or a big league contract to enjoy a meeting or event in one of Minnesota's premier sports venues. These facilities are ready to welcome your group with an experiene that's lively, fun and decidedly out of the ordinary.
CHS Field, St. Paul
If you want to hold your event in the newest facility in the Twin Cities, then head to Lowertown’s 1-year-old CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The stadium’s 4,000-square-foot Securian Club can seat 250 people reception-style. For larger-scale events, consider the whole-stadium option, increasingly popular for corporate picnics. “Last season, we had a 3,000-person event for employees and family of a major corporation,” says Anna Gutknecht, the Saints’ special events manager. “They rented out the concourse and other locations, and had bands, interactive photo booths, a photographic time line of the company in the entrance to the field, an inflatable kiddie obstacle course, and even eagles and hawks from the Raptor Center.” The stadium seats 7,210, and can hold a total of 14,000 if the outfield is used.
Gutknecht is especially proud of the quality of catering at CHS Field, which offers everything from ballpark fare to more extravagant tenderloins or roasts. The indoor club is available year-round for rental on nongame days. “It has floor-to-ceiling windows for views of the ballpark and downtown,” she says. The space itself offers flexible set-up options for everything from a business meeting to a dance party.
Bielenberg Sports Center, Woodbury
With a full-size indoor turf field house and two ice arenas, this Woodbury sports center has indoor capacity for a wide variety of events. The 90,000-square-foot field house, where soccer and lacrosse are played November through April, can be transformed with pipe and drape to meet any number of meeting requirements. While the space is heavily booked during peak season, Bielenberg Sports Center Manager Dave Black says the location is great for fall or summer events. “People love the windowed views into the ice arena, field house and outside arena. You can see a mile both ways from our upper lobby.”
In addition to playing areas, the center includes a conference room that seats up to 50, with full projection, sound and computers. “It’s a ready-to-go space for business presentations,” Black says. There is also the Multipurpose Room to accommodate meetings of up to 20. The upper lobby is often used for gatherings of up to 200. “[In December 2014] we held a forum with realtors and city leaders, with theater-style seating and a podium, and used the area flanking the upper lobby for a luncheon,” Black adds. The Woodbury center plans to launch a major remodel this summer. The construction, which will add more space and a catering kitchen to the facility, is anticipated to be completed this fall.
Target Field, Minneapolis
With more than 10 unique hospitality and event spaces, Target Field can accommodate gatherings of as few as 50 or as many as 3,000. Last year’s events attendance exceeded 180,000 people, with more than 300 nongameday events held throughout the year. “We pride ourselves on how flexible our spaces are, and we can make any event a memorable, oneof-a-kind experience,” says Quinn Handahl, coordinator of Target Field Events. “With our unique downtown location and the beautiful Minneapolis skyline, we offer a lot more than just a ballpark setting.”
Target Field’s numerous venues combine for nearly 40,000 square feet of usable space, excluding Target Plaza and the playing field. The largest venue, Carew Atrium, is part of the Delta Sky360 Legends Club and has over 10,000 usable square feet. Smaller spaces average around 1,000 square feet. Gameday events are typically coordinated through the Twins Group Ticket Sales and Service Department. Organizations often host an allday business meeting, and then rent a suite for a game that evening. While meeting and event planners have been buzzing about the new centerfield enhancement project currently taking place, Handahl says there has not yet been a decision about how it will be used for nongameday events.
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
“We like to call ourselves a campus, because we really are three unique meeting spaces under one roof,” says Kate Setley, director of event management and marketing for some of the most distinctive landmarks of the downtown St. Paul landscape: Saint Paul RiverCentre, Xcel Energy Center and the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
While all that space may seem overwhelming, Setley says the venue “can handle a small group very well.” Clients often use the Saint Paul RiverCentre for prefunction events. “They can have an intimate reception before a hockey game or concert, then walk the group over to the Xcel Energy Center. People really appreciate parking just one time for an entire evening, and meeting planners appreciate being able to offer a seamless experience,” she says. For meeting planners who want to incorporate a range of experiences during a visit to St. Paul, Setley suggests an evening of entertainment in the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium, which is under the same roof as the other two venues.
The 27,111-square-foot RiverCentre ballroom level can be broken into a space as small as 2,946 square feet, with the opportunity for excellent city views. “We overlook Rice Park, which is beautifully lit in winter, with views of the Wells Fargo WinterSkate outdoor rink,” she says. There are 45,000 square feet of prefunction meeting room space, and the smallest area is 886 square feet. Setley is especially proud of their experiential chef’s dinners. “Our chef can create a special meal for the group, then talk about ingredients, recipes and wine or beer parings.”
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
With multiple club room spaces available for events and meetings throughout the year, TCF Bank Stadium, home of Gopher football, is located in the heart of the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. “The stadium is a living, breathing icon for the whole community to enjoy,” says Lindsay Schutter, events and premium services coordinator, event management at the University of Minnesota. The LEED-certified stadium offers audio-visual services, wireless internet access, preferred caterers and full-bar service. An ample 35,000 square feet of total event space among five main event spaces allows the stadium to accommodate about 1,500 people year-round. No spaces at the stadium are available for rental on gamedays, since every area is ticketed.
“The Alpha Phi Sorority recently held their Red Dress Gala in our DQ Club Room, and they had nearly 800 attendees,” Schutter says. “The event included a live auction, silent auction, and plated dinner, and included a program, fashion show and dance, all in the same space.”