Say this for the newly announced 3M Open, a regular PGA Tour event that will start in the Twin Cities in the summer of 2019: at least organizers are respecting a rule of “one in, one out” when it comes to sporting events in the area.
The PGA Champions Tour event that had done nicely on the same TPC Twin Cities course will be replaced by a recently announced stop in Sioux Falls, S.D.
That’s a net gain of zero, though it’s a bump in prestige. For those scoring at home, the Twin Cities now has:
*All six Major League-level teams in United States sports: the Vikings, Twins, Wild, Timberwolves, Lynx and Minnesota United. And they are all either playing in or building stadiums or arenas that have been constructed or significantly renovated within the last 20 years. Only the Wolves and Lynx share a facility among the six.
*A Big Ten University with several teams that draw well, including a revenue-generating sport — men’s hockey — that isn’t factored in at a lot of other major schools.
*A regular PGA Tour stop.
*A raft of smaller colleges and high schools whose teams routinely compete for championships.
*The popular St. Paul Saints, who play in their own jewel of a ballpark.
*A recently announced expansion franchise, the Minnesota Whitecaps, in the National Women’s Hockey League.
*A robust horse racing card at Canterbury Park.
I probably left something off the list (sorry) – and if I didn’t, the list will probably grow soon. If you’re thinking, “What on earth is left to add?” remember there are always things to add. Maybe a Minnesota United reserve team or a National Women’s Soccer League franchise? Sure, why not.
And if you’re wondering, “How on earth do we keep adding all these things?” Well, let’s start here:
Minnesota historically has been near the top of the list of states with the most Fortune 500 companies per capita – a fact that has become increasingly important in the sports world with corporate dollars pumping in sponsorship money and buying expensive high-end seats. There is money to be spent and money potentially to be made in this state.
Some of us complain that it’s too much, but we keep adding, adding, adding.
We are a magnet for major one-time events like the Ryder Cup (2016), Super Bowl (remember that a few months back?), the WNBA All-Star Game (this summer), the NCAA Men’s Final Four (coming in 2019) and the U.S. Men’s National Team in a CONCACAF Gold Cup match (next summer).
We’ll take on semi-permanent events like the Summer X Games (this summer will mark the second of at least four consecutive years the X Games are here).
Occasionally we subtract. I’m old enough to have covered an auto race (Grand Prix of Minneapolis) that zoomed through a circuit in downtown Minneapolis in the late 1990s. Professional roller hockey, lacrosse, indoor football and various basketball teams have come and gone.
But money and venues attract the big events, and those keep coming fast and furious.
Maybe if all of them would follow the “one in, one out” rule, we would at least have a chance to catch our breath every once in a while.