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Local group asks for $50 million to bring Olympic Gymnastics Trials, other events to Minnesota

Minnesota Sports and Events is also planning to bid on the NFL Draft, World Junior Hockey and WrestleMania in the coming years.

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is home to several big-name gymnasts, many of whom will compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2024 for a shot to represent their country in the Summer Olympics.

Hosting the event in Minnesota would be a dream come true for many local gymnasts who would jump at the opportunity to see their idols up close.

Minnesota Sports and Events recently announced its efforts to bring the event to Minnesota.

“It’s kind of our time to have it. We would love to have it,” President and CEO Wendy Blackshaw said.

Blackshaw says their office recently put in a bid to bring the event to Minnesota, but there is stiff competition with other major cities.

“A lot of cities are now competing for these large events,” Blackshaw explained. “Cities see and understand the benefit of these events.”

Minnesota Sports and Events has been involved in bringing several large events to Minnesota in recent years.

Blackshaw said the Super Bowl and Final Four were funded through private investments. However, she said the competition from other cities has increased so significantly in recent years that Minnesota can no longer compete with private funding alone.

“We can’t do it like that anymore. We’re the only city and state of our size that pays for this through corporate funding alone,” Blackshaw said.

The group recently visited the Minnesota State Capitol to ask lawmakers for funding, and they invited Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee to come with them.

“She is really passionate about bringing the event to Minnesota. One of the things Suni Lee is really passionate about is showing the young people in the Hmong community what is possible,” Blackshaw said.

The group is asking for $50 million to land the Olympic Trials and several other marquee events.

“We’re also looking at events like World Junior Hockey, the NFL Draft, Wrestlemania and others,” Blackshaw explained.

Right now, lawmakers are offering significantly less money to help land these events.

Blackshaw said the governor’s budget would give their group $6 million, which is a good start, but she’s hoping that amount will increase before the legislative session is over.


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