National Sports Center to host Major League Soccer’s Academy for Ticket Sales Representatives
Courtesy of NSC Minnesota Stars
Blaine, Minn. (May 27, 2010) – As of July, the National Sport Center will be the site of the newly-created MLS National Sales Center. The ticket sales academy will be housed in the NSC’s Schwan Center and is the first academy of its kind ever owned and operated by a professional sports league in the United States.
The National Sales Center is tentatively scheduled to open July 6 and will further assist MLS clubs with ticket sales and staffing. The NSC and MLS have a one-year agreement that provides the academy with 2000 square feet of office and training space at the NSC. MLS will handle operation of the academy and the NSC will receive marketing advice and direct marketing and sales for its Division II pro team, the NSC Minnesota Stars.
MLS’ Bryant Pfeiffer pitched the NSC as a location for the academy, and worked with NSC’s chief financial officer Roger Stawski to put the deal together. Stawski said the NSC should benefit from the academy using sales of Stars’ tickets as part of its training.
“We’ll have them on board to help sell our team; getting out there to all the different marketing opportunities we’ve identified” Stawski said. “We’re the only non-MLS team that will get sales support from this group.”
“It’s a great opportunity for us to learn about the best practices in ticket sales and marketing, and how to apply those practices locally,” NSC chief administrative officer Kris Bjerkness said.
Stawski said the National Sales Center will target college graduates interested in soccer sales. It will feature a 45-day curriculum consisting of classroom instruction and hands-on field work to prepare individuals for ticket sales positions with MLS clubs. Pfeiffer will oversee the initiative and work with the soon-to-be-hired director to develop the program.
While the National Sales Center will be permanently housed in the Silver Room of the Schwan Center, the room can still be made available for major events held at NSC. “We do need that room from time to time,” Stawski said. “This can be set up so it’s relatively portable so we can move them out for a week, or so if we need the space for something like Schwan’s USA CUP. They’ll be somewhat permanent, but flexible.”
About the National Sports Center:
The National Sports Center (NSC) is a 600-acre multi-sport facility located in Blaine, Minnesota. The campus includes the Schwan Super Rink; an 8,500-seat soccer stadium; the Schwan Center meeting and convention building; a multi-faceted family golf center, the National Youth Golf Center, which features the 18-hole Victory Links course; an indoor Sports Hall with a FieldTurf field; 150-bed residence hall; and 52 soccer fields. The facility hosts nearly 300 events annually, and has welcomed approximately 28 million visitors since its opening. The NSC generates over $37 million in annual out-of-state economic impact.
Chief Communications Officer, National Sports Center
Associate Director, Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission