Minneapolis - Sports

Sports

Professional sports are well-established in Minneapolis. First playing in 1884, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team produced the best won-lost record in their league at the time and contributed fifteen players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the 1920s, Minneapolis was home to the NFL team the Minneapolis Marines, later known as the Minneapolis Red Jackets. During the 1940s and 1950s the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team, the city's first in the major leagues in any sport, won six basketball championships in three leagues to become the NBA's first dynasty before moving to Los Angeles. The American Wrestling Association, formerly the NWA Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, operated in Minneapolis from 1960 until the 1990s.

The Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins arrived in the state in 1961. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team and the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota. Both teams played outdoors in the open air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty one years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in 1982, where the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins moved to Target Field in 2010. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989, followed by the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team in 1999. The Lynx play in the Target Center and won the WNBA Championship in 2011. The Minnesota Wild of the NHL play in St. Paul.

The downtown Metrodome, opened in 1982, is the largest sports stadium in Minnesota, with one major tenant, the Vikings. The Metrodome is the only stadium in the country to have hosted a Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the NCAA Basketball Men's Final Four. Runners, walkers, inline skaters, coed volleyball teams, and touch football teams all have access to "The Dome". Events from sports to concerts, community activities, religious activities, and trade shows are held more than three hundred days per year, making the facility one of the most versatile stadiums in the world.

The state of Minnesota authorized replacements for the Metrodome with three separate stadiums that totaled around $1.9 billion. Six spectator sport stadiums will be in a 1.2-mile (2 km) radius centered downtown, counting the existing facilities at Target Center and the university's Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. The new Target Field is funded by the Twins and 75% by Hennepin County sales tax, about $25 per year by each taxpayer. The Gopher football program's new TCF Bank Stadium was built by the university and the state's general fund. Several plans were advanced for a new Vikings stadium. In 2012, the Minnesota Legislature agreed to build a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome, possibly with a retractable roof, giving the Vikings a 30 year lease. The agreement costs $975 million: of this, the Vikings share is $477 million and the public's share is $498 million — the state of Minnesota is to pay $348 million, and Minneapolis must pay $150 million. Including interest and operating costs, the city's share over 30 years is $678 million.

Major sporting events hosted by the city include Super Bowl XXVI, the 1992 NCAA Men's Division I Final Four, the 2001 NCAA Men's Division 1 Final Four and the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships. Minneapolis has made it to the international round finals to host the Summer Olympic games three times, being beaten by London in 1948, Helsinki in 1952 (when the city finished in second place), and Melbourne in 1956.

Gifted amateur athletes have played in Minneapolis schools, notably starting in the 1920s and 1930s at Central, De La Salle, and Marshall high schools. Since the 1930s, the Golden Gophers have won national championships in baseball, boxing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling.

Professional Sports in Minneapolis
Club Sport League Venue Championships
Minnesota Lynx Basketball Women's National Basketball Association, Western Conference Target Center WNBA Finals 2011
Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball National Basketball Association, Western Conference, Northwest Division Target Center
Minnesota Twins Baseball Major League Baseball, American League, Central Division Target Field World Series 1987 and 1991
Minnesota Vikings American Football National Football League, National Football Conference, North Division Metrodome 1969 NFL Championship

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Famous quotes containing the word sports:

    Reading about ethics is about as likely to improve one’s behavior as reading about sports is to make one into an athlete.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)

    It is usual for a Man who loves Country Sports to preserve the Game in his own Grounds, and divert himself upon those that belong to his Neighbour.
    Joseph Addison (1672–1719)

    It was so hard to pry this door open, and if I mess up I know the people behind me are going to have it that much harder. Because then there’s living proof. They can sit around and say, “See? It doesn’t work.” I don’t want to be their living proof.
    Gayle Gardner, U.S. sports reporter. As quoted in Sports Illustrated, p. 87 (June 17, 1991)