Minneapolis convention and tourism officials say last year's record-setting success in landing big events, hosting visitors and booking hotel rooms will be hard to duplicate in 2015.
But at the annual meeting of Meet Minneapolis, the organization that sells the city as a destination, officials pointed to several major events they plan to bid for this year. Plus, they said a long list of upcoming improvements, such as the makeover of Nicollet Mall and renovations at Target Center, are likely to help attract visitors.
Among the events the city hopes to secure: a college football playoff game in 2020, the USA Volleyball Boys' Junior National Championships in 2017, the USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships and WrestleMania, a professional wrestling event.
Rob Moor, chairman of the Meet Minneapolis board and CEO of the Minnesota Timberwolves, said the city's success in landing the 2018 Super Bowl and the NCAA men's basketball Final Four in 2019 has put the city in an elite group.
"Minneapolis has raised its profile," he said. "We are competing at a new level, with cities like New Orleans now at our back."
Melvin Tennant, Meet Minneapolis' president and CEO, said the city is also benefiting from significant public and private investments that have been made in improvements ranging from hotel upgrades to construction of Metro Transit's Green Line.
"I can assure you the team at Meet Minneapolis sees nothing but a bright future for the city," he said.