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Amateur update: Lynx game in Rochester is unique

Well over a year ago I got the word we should meet with the Timberwolves/Lynx folks to discuss the idea of possibly having a Minnesota Lynx game in Rochester. Not knowing much about our role or what

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Well over a year ago I got the word we should meet with the Timberwolves/Lynx folks to discuss the idea of possibly having a Minnesota Lynx game in Rochester. Not knowing much about our role or what the opportunity was, we scheduled a meeting.

It was March 17, 2015, when we drove to Minneapolis and met with Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx President Chris Wright in the then-under-construction area now known as Mayo Clinic Square. We were invited to lunch with Chris and the Lynx Director of Operations, Carley Knox. It was there that discussions begun regarding the idea of playing a game in Rochester.

Now one might think this should be easy, but it was not. Rarely do professional teams take their home games "on the road." There are numerous challenges from both parties when going away from the normal playing environment and well established processes.

We had several things to determine; was the facility available and would it meet the needs of a WNBA game? What role would we be asked to play? How do the ticket sales work? Who do they need for workers and staff for the event?

The Lynx organization had questions too. How many seats does the facility hold? Does it have the locker rooms and support areas needed to run the game? How will the revenues and expenses be handled? What kind of local support can they expect and who handles which duties?

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There were plenty of things that we discussed and all have worked out – the game is set for Sunday, May 8 at 4 p.m.

The Lynx see a lot of good in holding this game in Rochester, such as the opportunity to expose the team to a new market in Minnesota and creating new fans of the Lynx. Also, there's a chance for the folks in our community to appreciate first-hand the incredible dynasty the Lynx have become and the amazing role models they have on their team. And it allows them to highlight their relationship/partnership with the Mayo Clinic here locally.

We still have some work to do on details as we hold a weekly conference call with about 20 folks from the Lynx organization and our local team of Sports Commission and Mayo Civic Center staff.

Tickets are selling very well with approximately 2,500 sold to date and are still available through Ticketmaster. It promises to be a high-quality and action-packed afternoon here in May.

As a life-long resident, I am not aware of a professional team playing an actual scheduled game in our city ever – not to mention having the 3-time WNBA champions in town.

As Carley Knox shared with me during the planning "It will be great to be in Rochester with a packed house to cheer on 'The Return of the Champs' being they are again coming off another World Championship."

Let's hope Rochester can give them a world-class reception. It is a unique opportunity –don't miss it!

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