MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The Minneapolis Armory is set to become a huge nightclub for Super Bowl weekend.
It's been under renovation for 18 months and Thursday officials announced that its first event will be an official NFL party venue, including concerts by yet-to-be named acts.
“It'll be a nightclub, it'll be an event space, it'll be a car show, it'll be a boxing ring, it'll be whatever we want it to be,” said Jack Murphy with Nomadic Entertainment.
The folks involved in breathing new life into the old Armory are hesitant to put a label on what it is becoming, but insist we will like it.
“You guys are lucky to have this here after we leave,” he said. “It's going to be an amazing space.”
Murphy has been putting on concerts for the NFL for Super Bowl weekends for 14 years. He came to town looking for a space and found the Armory already under renovation by Minneapolis developer Ned Abdul. Murphy booked it, suddenly becoming an advisor on the entire makeover.
“Because we're part of the design process, right, it's [Abdul’s] vision, it's his idea, it's his magic, but we're influencing it every single day,” said Murphy.
The Armory was built in 1935. It was the biggest Works Progress Administration project in the Twin Cities during the Depression.
The National Guard used it for training until 1980, but it’s also been home to political conventions and boxing matches and Minneapolis Lakers games along the way.
“Yeah, there were bleachers that were all the way up the wall that came down,” said Murphy. “Understand this floor wasn't here. The floor was actually the garage.”
Now one level up from the original floor a new heated floor is being installed. Club spaces line the sides where bleachers used to be.
While creating all the new renovations the developers carefully followed strict rules to preserve the building’s history.
“If he took brick down, he put it right back up,” said Murphy.
Murphy says the Super Bowl weekend concert artists should be announced in September. There will be about 4,000 general admission tickets to each of the three nights, costing around $150 to $200 each. There are plans to book more events at the Armory once the Super Bowl is done.
“This thing is staying and it's going to be one of the hottest entertainment venues you're going to see in the country,” said Murphy.