Bigger acts coming to the Mayo Civic Center? Not exactly
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The expansion of the Mayo Civic Center will create hundreds of jobs, spur new development in the downtown and attract larger conventions to the Med City.
What it won't do is make the venue more appealing to big-name performers.
That's because the $85 million project is primarily focused on creating new meeting and convention space. The seating capacity for concerts in the arena (5,200) and the auditorium (3,000) will not increase.
Only minor upgrades will be made to the two facilities, said Andy Krogstad, the managing director of the civic center. About $2.8 million was spent renovating the facilities last summer.
So yes, the expansion and renovation of the civic center will be a big boost to the local economy — just don't expect Taylor Swift or Maroon 5 to be stopping through town anytime soon.
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith joined local leaders in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the civic center's expansion on Thursday.
The project, which has been in the works for about eight years, will include a new 40,000 square-foot ballroom, 18 new meeting rooms and technology upgrades throughout the building.
The renovated facility will add a total of 188,000 square feet in usable function space, nearly doubling the capacity of the current facility.
"The governor and I support this expansion, and projects just like it all across Minnesota, because it exactly the kind of community-building work that we should be doing to grow our economy," said Smith.
Local and state officials expect the project to create about 700 construction jobs and another 300 new permanent jobs. The updated facility will generate an estimated $370 million in new economic activity over the next decade.
Exterior work is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, while renovations to the interior are expected to continue through the summer of 2017.
Road closures around the civic center could begin as early as next week.
Click here to learn more about the project.
(Cover graphic: Screenshot of video)