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Minny HappyReturns Super Bowl complete, Minneapolis sets sights on next big events | By R.V. Baugus


As the weeks and wins piled up for the Minnesota Vikings during the 2017 National Football League season, even the most sports-detached   -  the Super Bowl has been played to have our team playing the sport’s biggest game at our home stadium. Indeed, the Vikings traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to play the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC championship and the right to play in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. When   back to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to play in the pinnacle contest and go on to defeat the New England Patriots, 41-33, to capture the fran-  What seemed thisclose to expectant Minnesotans must have seemed like light years away once the reality of it all set in. However, there is a saying in the public assembly venue industry that says simply the show must go on. Did it ever!


Not only did U.S. Bank Stadium have a chance to shine before 73,000 people in the stands and millions more watching the game from all points of the globe, but plenty of the rest of Minneapolis had a chance to shine as well. It seems the city has been doing quite a bit of that lately.


The Allure Of Minneapolis Melvin Tennant, CAE, is the president and CEO of Meet Minneapo- lis, whose mission is to promote the Minneapolis community as a via- ble convention site and visitor destination. Born in Bryan, Texas, and holding an undergraduate degree in Managerial Studies from Rice


14 Facility Manager Magazine


University in Houston, Tennant has served in his capacity since 2007. It did not take the native Texan long to become a major proponent  “We (Meet Minneapolis) are the consolidator,” Tennant said. “We bring all the parties together to make sure that we are able to put together the best message to our customers and visitors so that they have the best possible experience. We bring together public and pri- vate partners and really create the messaging that we want visitors to   Tennant said that one distinct advantage that Minneapolis enjoys is the walking proximity of so many of its public assembly venues, some- thing that was an obvious score during a Super Bowl weekend where temperatures were in season for February (read: frigid). “We are one of the very few cities with all of its major public as-


sembly facilities within the urban core,” he said. “I think that takes full advantage of the fact that we are such a vibrant destination with thousands and thousands of people who live in our city. I think that juxtaposition of facilities and residences really create a special type of destination. “One of the things I have often said is that our entertainment and night life has really evolved organically. Whereas there are some cities where the entertainment infrastructure is contrived, it has to be cre- ated, but ours happened organically, and I think when you see where our public assembly facilities are situated, it really takes advantage of that.”


Re-Build It And They Will Come The Minneapolis Convention Center has existed since 1989. It is part of that core infrastructure that Tennant referenced as it sits one block


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