Construction crews were nearing completion of the Club Nomadic venue at Mystic Lake. / Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

One of the most ambitious — and expensive — party sites planned around Super Bowl week in the Twin Cities, the Club Nomadic pop-up concert venue at Mystic Lake Casino was abruptly shelved on Friday, an apparent bust on a big gamble three weeks before the big game.

High-buck concerts by Gwen Stefani, Florida Georgia Line, the Chainsmokers and Kygo with Ellie Goulding will still go on, but they are moving inside the resort complex from the 9,000-person temporary venue that had been built in a parking lot outside the casino at a six-figure cost.

An official statement from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s events arm said the unique pop-up venue — designed to lure Super Bowl LII visitors to the casino in Prior Lake a half-hour from Minneapolis — was being canceled because the event “would not be up to our standards of quality.” Mystic Lake representatives declined to comment further.

Poor ticket sales most likely played a role in the cancellation. Starting at $100 to $200 and reaching past $10,000 for VIP options, ticket prices had already been slashed in 25 percent off deals that started circulating last week.

An upside to those slow sales: The concerts can be moved to significantly smaller venues inside the casino, though without as much pizazz and glitzy VIP treatment promised in the Club Nomadic venue.

Florida Georgia Line’s Feb. 3 concert will happen inside the 2,100-seat Mystic Lake Showroom, where most major concerts at the casino typically take place. The rest of the shows will be moved to the Mystic Lake Center, part of a new complex of ballroom-type rooms at the resort complex intended for weddings and corporate events.

Club Nomadic was named after Mystic Lake’s partner in the venture, Nomadic Entertainment, a bicoastal company owned by the NFL’s hospitality arm, On Location Experiences. Nomadic has put on similar events at past Super Bowls. Last year in Houston, for instance, the Club Nomadic pop-up complex hosted Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars (significantly bigger names than the ones they’re bringing to Minnesota).

Nomadic Entertainment is also hosting another Super Bowl concert series, Nomadic Live, in downtown Minneapolis at the newly renovated Armory with Imagine Dragons, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Lopez from Feb. 1-4.

In a statement, Nomadic Entertainment said: “We are disappointed Mystic Lake is choosing not to bring the Club Nomadic Experience to the people of the Twin Cities. With that said, we encourage fans to experience our first-class experience at the Armory in Minneapolis.”

Nomadic Entertainment’s president, Jack Murphy, told the Star Tribune in November that the Club Nomadic series would be a “white glove” event to justify the higher ticket prices. “I’m not the guy to do a Target Center concert or a festival; I’m the guy to create a unique experience for the artist and the audience alike,” he said.

In the same article, Mystic Lake’s director of brand marketing, Johnny Mackin, acknowledged the casino was making a big gamble on Club Nomadic, costs for which reached several million dollars. “It’s the Super Bowl, so we’re thinking super thoughts,” Mackin said.

 

Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658 Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

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