On Wednesday, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Melvin Tennant, of Meet Minneapolis, announced that the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships will grace Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs in 2014.
The event will be hosted by North Country Region June 25-July 2 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The event will draw teams and fans making it bigger than the Republican National Convention held in St. Paul in 2008.
"We're looking at a $60-million economic impact," said Tennant. "The RNC was about $50 million. The good news with this particular event is: It takes place during the summer, June and July -- almost over the Fourth of July."
Tennant says many of the athletes bring family, friends and officials along, so many of those folks will likely make a vacation out of the event.
"This event is going to draw people from all over the United States," said Lauren Nordvold, who has been playing volleyball for five years and hopes to attend. "It will be a great way to get together and play the sport and see who is out there."
Minnesota has hosted several USA Volleyball events in the past, including the National Championships in 2007 -- but the upcoming event will also have a significant economic impact on several suburbs, including Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Edina, Maple Grove, Mendota Heights, Minnetonka, New Brighton, Plymouth, Roseville and Saint Louis Park.
"Obviously, sports is a big economic impact driver for the city," said Tennant. "This is a good way for us to gain a lot of recognition and perhaps get more sporting event organizers interested in our city."