About the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission
The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission (MASC) was created in 1987 by the Minnesota State Legislature to promote the economic and social benefits of sports.
The MASC is best known for three things:
- Its governance of the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine, the largest amateur sports campus in the world, and the flagship facility of the amateur sports venues the MASC has helped to fund. The NSC is the most-visited sports facility in Minnesota, with over four million annual visitors. Every year, it generates over $83 million of economic impact from sports visitors.
- Creating amateur sports events at all of its facilities to attract out-of-state visitors, which generates economic impact for the state. Many of these events are held at the NSC, including the USA CUP, which attracts over 1,000 soccer teams to Blaine every July.
- Fostering public-private and state-local partnerships. Many MASC programs have utilized this model, including sports facility construction and the James Metzen Mighty Ducks and Mighty Kids grant programs. In all these programs, state dollars were matched at least 50/50 with non-state funds, which leveraged significantly greater public benefit.
The Long-Range Vision: Statewide Regional Sports Centers
The MASC has worked with local communities to create a network of amateur sports facilities strategically placed around the state. These facilities reflect the strengths and passions of those communities, and offer a very different regional sports menu for Minnesota athletes.
The Flagship Facility: The National Sports Center
The National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine has always been envisioned as Minnesota’s premier amateur sports facility, and it is the only MASC facility under the direct governance of the MASC.
Since the facility opened in 1990 as one of the original mega-multi sport campuses in the U.S. the MASC has appropriately devoted significant resources to ensuring the growth, financial strength, and relevance of the campus. Now the largest amateur sports campus in the world, the NSC offers programs and events in soccer, hockey, golf, figure skating, lacrosse, ultimate, rugby, cycling, baseball, and broomball.
The three facilities in Northeast Minnesota offer sports programs in winter sports and whitewater sports.
Giants Ridge Golf and Ski Resort, Biwabik – Visit
Giants Ridge is among the most visited recreational sports facilities in Northeast Minnesota. Its facilities cater to downhill skiers, nordic skiers and golfers from the local region and from out-of-state athletes from Ontario and Manitoba, the Dakotas and Wisconsin.
Ole Mangseth Memorial Ski Jump, Coleraine – Visit
The ski jump is the centerpiece of the Mt. Itasca Ski Area, a facility that includes nordic ski trails, a biathlon range, and a small downhill ski area. The ski jump is outfitted for summer jumping.
St. Louis River Outpost, Carlton – Visit
Operated by the University of Minnesota Duluth Outdoor Program, the Outpost is a base-camp building for staging of whitewater and flat water paddling excursions and classes.
Red Baron Arena & Expo, Marshall – Visit
The Red Baron Arena & Expo features two sheets of ice and an exposition center. The facility is the centerpiece of the Schwan Regional Amateur Sports Center and a part of the Marshall Amateur Regional Sports Hub (MARSH), which includes more than three dozen city, school and college sporting facilities in Marshall. Marshall’s location within easy traveling distance from the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa makes it an attractive sports destination for teams wanting to travel but also wanting to avoid the congestion of the Twin Cities.
National Volleyball Center, Rochester – Visit
Anchored by the National Volleyball Center, an 11-court facility, Rochester specializes in court sports — volleyball and basketball — plus wrestling, baseball and soccer events. Rochester MN Sports, the local sports tourism promotion agency, is a national leader in attracting and staging sports events in their community.
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud – Visit
The Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, on the campus of St. Cloud State University, is the most well-known sports venue in Central Minnesota. As the home ice for the St. Cloud State men’s and women’s hockey teams, the facility has also hosted the Can-Am Police and Fire Games, the Minnesota Senior Games, and past USA Hockey elite summer camps.
Minneapolis Sports Center – Visit
The Minneapolis Sports Center at the YWCA on Lake Street is a large indoor fieldhouse for basketball, track and recreational walking. The facility is primarily a venue used by local athletes.
The MASC is working with Saint Paul to determine what type of facility and location would meet the mission of the MASC and the goals of the City of Saint Paul.