Civic Civic expansion bodes well for high school tournaments

By Donny Henn

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Donna Drews is the Executive Director of the Mayo Civic Center and has worked for the city of Rochester at the facility for 21 years. Drews is a Rochester native and graduated from John Marshall; she is the sister of JM football coach Jack Drews. Donna is married and has two children. High school sports are among her true loves, especially JM football, she said.

Post-Bulletin: Do you have any idea how many high school basketball games and wrestling sessions were held at Mayo Civic Center this tournament season?

Donna Drews: 48 basketball games, 12 wrestling sessions.


P-B: Do you know exactly or approximately how many people came into the civic center to watch all of the high school tournaments?

DD: Paid attendance was 40,340. That does not include pass gates — teams, coaches, athletic directors, cheerleaders, bands and officials.

P-B: What is the economic impact of the high school tournaments on the facility?

DD: Conservatively, $2,250,000.

P-B: Is there anything in the proposed civic center expansion for high school sports fans to be excited about, or would that benefit mostly conventions and trade shows?

DD: The expansion will definitely benefit sports fans. Plans include expanding and renovating the Arena locker rooms. Public areas such as lobbies, restrooms and refreshment stands will be expanded and improved adding to the overall tournament experience.

The biggest plus is the possibility of hosting additional athletic and sporting events. With the expansion conventions and tradeshows will be relocated to the newer facilities and free up our schedule in the Arena and Auditorium. One opportunity we are monitoring closely is the Minnesota State High School League state tournaments. Due to costs, they are considering the possibility of relocating some state tournaments to outstate locations. We will definitely be at the table doing our best to bring additional tournaments to Rochester.

Donny Henn

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