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Twin Cities Gateway: Home to the World’s Largest Amateur Sports Venue

About Twin Cities Gateway 

The Twin Cities Gateway region is comprised of 10 suburbs atop Minneapolis & St. Paul. Its proximity to the Twin Cities is a bonus, and its spacious and affordable feel make this the perfect destination every season. 

When it comes to sports, Twin Cities Gateway has quite an impressive facility roster. The region is home to the world’s largest soccer and hockey facility at the National Sports Center. It also hosts some of the nation’s largest events, including the Target USA Cup. “I think for quality and quantity – we are at the top in the country. Our facilities are phenomenal, and we have the world’s largest soccer facility and hockey facility. We can host small tournaments, or host multiple tournaments at the same time. You can do it all here,” Al Stauffacher, Director of the Twin Cities Gateway Visitors Bureau says. 

Baseball celebration at Lexington Baseball Complex
Baseball celebration at Lexington Baseball Complex

Featured Facilities 

National Sports Center – Starting out strong, the National Sports Center (NSC) is the world’s largest amateur sports facility. The property is a $40 million, 660-acre sports, event and meeting campus located in Blaine, MN and attracts 4+ million visitors annually. Thanks to its size, the NSC is well-versed in hosting a variety of sports, including soccer, hockey, golf, cycling, lacrosse, ultimate, rugby, broomball and volleyball. Onsite, the NSC’s Super Rink is the largest ice arena in the world. The NSC is home to the women’s MLS team, Minnesota United FC, and is the US Olympic Women’s Hockey training center. 

NSC Highlights – 

  • 54 multi-purpose outdoor grass and turfed athletic fields with lighting on a variety of fields. 
  • 8 indoor ice rinks (4 NHL-size & 4 Olympic-size rinks) 
  • Victory Links: 18-hole PGA Tour-designed golf course with 6 tee boxes on each hole 
  • 5.000 seat multi-purpose stadium that is turfed. 
  • 58,000 square ft Sports Hall. Turfed surface that is indoor training facility for Minnesota United FC. 
  • 36,000 square ft Welcome Center 
  • 18,000 square ft Sport Expo Center with hard court surface, dropped down volleyball and basketball nets. 
  • On-site concessions & catering services 
  • 3,800 vehicle parking on-site 
  • NSC travel housing bureau 
NSC Super Rink Blaine- World’s largest ice facility (8 rinks)
NSC Super Rink Blaine- World’s largest ice facility (8 rinks)

Coon Rapids Soccer Complex Coon Rapids Soccer Complex offers 6 regulation championship caliber lighted soccer fields. The space is perfect for soccer tournaments and clinics for all ages throughout the summer and fall seasons. 

Castle Field – In Anoka, Castle Field is a historic baseball park central to the community. The field was originally opened in 1950 for local “townball” baseball games. In 2012, the park reopened after a full renovation, with a new 250-seat stadium bleacher with overhead canopy, press box, concession stand, and restroom facilities.

Rice Creek Fields – One of the top complexes in the state, Rice Creek Fields was built specifically for girls fast-pitch softball. The venue features 4 tournament quality fast-pitch ball fields as well as batting cages and a training area.  

University of Northwestern – Located in St. Paul, the University of Northwestern’s scenic campus is home to a multitude of athletic facilities available for rental. Reynolds Field includes turf fields for football/soccer/lacrosse, baseball and softball, as well as six regulation-size tennis courts, updated bleacher seating, and new locker rooms. Also available for rent are tennis courts, a gymnasium, and more. 


Upcoming Events 

PGA Tournament the 3M Open – From July 18-24, 2022, Twin Cities will host the 3M Open, an official PGA Tour stop and part of the FedEx Cup Series. TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota has been a successful host of the event (formerly called the 3M Championship) since 2001. The 3M Open is the PGA TOUR’s first regular stop in Minnesota in five decades. 

PGA 3M Golf tournament at TPC Blaine
PGA 3M Golf tournament at TPC Blaine

Target USA Cup – The National Sports Center will host the Target USA Cup from July 8-10, 2022. With 1,200 teams travelling from across the globe, the Target USA Cup is the largest youth soccer tournament in North America. The tournament began in 1985 and offers athletes a one-of-a-kind soccer experience with players from all over the world. 

USA Cup Soccer tournament-WORLD’S Largest soccer tournament @ National Sports Center Blaine
USA Cup Soccer Tournament-World’s Largest soccer tournament @ National Sports Center Blaine

Broomball Championships – Twin Cities Gateway has successfully hosted world’s, national and state broomball tournaments in the past at the Super Rink at the National Sports Center, the nation’s largest ice hockey facility. As a hot bed for Broomball, Twin Cities will continue to host the sport’s events in the future. Keep an eye out on the American Broomball Alliance’s website for upcoming events! 

Broomball at Ham Lake Park
Broomball at Ham Lake Park

Herb Brooks Holiday Classic – Each December, Twin Cities hosts the Herbs Brooks Holiday Classic, the nation’s largest hockey tournament, at the National Sports Center’s Super Rink. The tournament offers varsity and junior varsity divisions for boys and girls high school hockey, as well as Junior Gold A, B, and U16 divisions new this year. The Herb Brooks Holiday Classic will take place from December 26-28, 2022, with 80 teams competing in 120 games. 


Things to Do 

Bunker Beach Waterpark – Minnesota’s largest waterpark, Bunker Beach, is just minutes from Minneapolis & St. Paul. This summer season, the park will be open from June 10 – September 5, 2022. Whether you’d like to hang out in the lazy river or wave pool, or go down the slides at Splash Cove, the whole family will enjoy their day at Bunker Beach. 

Brewery & Winery Scene – For adults, Twin Cities Gateway’s brewery and winery scene is booming. Among its 10 communities, the region is home to five craft breweries and a local winery. Stop by a few for tours, entertainment or tastings during your stay. For a complete list of establishments, click here.  

Crooners Supper Club – An award-winning jazz club venue, Crooners Supper Club is a World War II era inspired dinner and entertainment experience. The venue hosts soloists and bands that transport guests into the past while offering a modern flair. For a unique music experience, be sure to check this out while you’re here. 

Anoka Halloween Capital of the World – Since 1920, the city of Anoka has been putting on an ever-expanding exciting Halloween parade and celebration. Today, the Light Up the Night Parade and Grande Day Parade continue through Main Street and attract participants from across the Midwest. The festivities also feature a public house decorating contest where Anoka residents go all out transforming their homes for the holiday and for the public to enjoy. 

Indoor Entertainment Parks – The Twin Cities Gateway region has no shortage of fun indoor experiences. Sky Zone in Blaine and Zero Gravity Trampoline Park in Mounds View offer ample space for bouncing around. For fun in the air, Urban Air Adventure Park boasts 30,000 sq ft of space with a ropes course, climbing wall and more. To check out more indoor activities, click here.  

Soccer AT NSC (World’s largest Amateur sports facility with 62 soccer fields)
Soccer AT NSC (World’s largest Amateur sports facility with 62 soccer fields)

Travel Tips 

The Twin Cities Gateway region is simple to get to and around thanks to its proximity to St. Paul & Minneapolis. For those flying in, Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is a quick drive to the gateway region. The light-rail Metro system runs between the cities and Twin Cities Gateway area, stopping at the airport, Mall of America, and multiple key attractions in the cities. For your stay, the region offers 25 hotel properties across its 10 cities. Whether you prefer a larger name like Marriott or Best Western, or a quaint bed and breakfast feel, the region’s variety of options are sure to satisfy. 

LAX at Blaine HS
Lacrosse at Blaine High School

Awards 

2021: Sports ETA Rise Up Award Winner: Twin Cities Gateway for hosting ISSA Midwest USA Regional Softball Championships and USA BMX Land O’ Lakes Nationals 

2020: Champions of Economic Impact Sports Event: Twin Cities Gateway hosting ISSA Midwest USA Regional Softball Championships 

2019: Champions of Economic Impact Sports Event: Twin Cities Gateway hosting 2018 World Broomball Championships 

2019: Sports Events Reader’s Awards Top Sports City: Blaine, Minnesota (part of the Twin Cities Gateway) 


Testimonials 

Twin Cities Gateway staff has been awesome to work with. We have needed facilities in the northern suburbs, and they always give us options on venues and hotels. We are always offered many facilities and can easily match our needs to what is offered. The accommodations always meet our client’s needs. Every one of our details is always met with Twin Cities Gateway. 

Dan Pfeffer, Commissioner – USA Softball Minnesota 

“Twin Cities Gateway has been a valued partner with USA Ultimate for more than a decade of our events at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.  TCG has given both financial assistance as well as expert assistance primarily with area lodging options.” 

David Raflo Manager – Events USA Ultimate 

Twin Cities Gateway has been a long standing and excellent partner for the past decade as they have teamed with us to host events, help run tournaments and set up hotel accommodations. They are true professionals in every sense of the word. We never worry about anything that is tasked to Twin Cities Gateway in our event planning 

Dave St. Aubin- American Broomball Alliance 

To host your next event in Twin Cities Gateway, head to their Playeasy profile here!

Twin Cities Gateway on Social Media


Brenna Collins, Playeasy Content Creation Manager
Written By: Brenna Collins

Twin Cities

Twin Cities

Twin Cities, MN

Al Stauffacher

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