Big Ten tournament, St. Patrick's Day make for another busy weekend in Twin Cities

Another busy weekend is in store for the Twin Cities, thanks to big events being held in the downtown areas.

In Minneapolis, the no-brainer that’s increasing foot traffic is the Big Ten Basketball Tournament. Last week, hundreds of thousands of basketball fans came out to Target Center to watch the women battle it out on the court and most notably, Caitlin Clark.

According to recent numbers just released by Meet Minneapolis, more than 200,000 people visited the city from March 3-9 for one or more events. Hotels in Minneapolis also sold 60,000 rooms, collecting more than $11.5 million in total guest room revenue. That number is up 176% from the same time last year.

This week, Meet Minneapolis expects more than 120,000 visitors thanks to several events including the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Minnesota State High School Girls Basketball Tournament, the State Gymnastics Championships and the Northwest Sportshow.

Activity will also be ramping up across the river in St. Paul, with Olivia Rodrigo performing for a sold-out crowd at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday night. On Saturday, the iconic St. Patrick’s Day Parade gets underway at 10 a.m. at Rice Park and PWHL-Minnesota will face off at home against New York at 2:30 p.m.

These large events and their attendees have significantly boosted the Twin Cities economy, with people visiting local restaurants and other businesses, checking out other attractions in the area and staying in nearby hotels, helping to support our state’s tourism/hospitality workers.