The National Sports Center opened on 92 acres of land.
Today the facility covers over 600 acres. The original facility featured the Velodrome, Sports Hall, Residence Hall and Dining Hall, Stadium and less than 25 soccer fields.
The U.S. Olympic Festival hosted cycling and soccer at the NSC.
USA CUP moved from the adjacent Blaine Soccer Complex and instantly became the NSC’s largest annual event, with 390 teams participating. Within a decade the tournament would grow to nearly 1,000 teams.
The USA vs. Cuba National Team wrestling meet brought fans to the NSC Sports Hall.
North American Cup Women’s International Soccer — USA, USSR, West Germany, and England. USA swept the tournament with scores of 8-0 vs. USSR, 3-0 vs. England and 3-0 vs. West Germany.
The Sika Bram Track and Field Invitational attracted stars such as Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and Jackie Joyner-Kersee to the NSC Stadium.
The U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team battled Moscow Spartak from the Soviet Union in the Stadium.
The NSC hosted three major weightlifting championships: National Junior Championships, the Under 23 Nationals and the American Open Weightlifting Championships.
First-year visitorship at the NSC was 386,000. In the next sixteen years it would grow nearly ten times.
International Special Olympics soccer games were held at the NSC.
Star of the North State Games, Minnesota’s amateur Olympic-style event brought over 10,000 athletes from around the state to compete in over 30 different sports.
Australian teams participated in USA CUP for the first time.
World-class weightlifting returned to the NSC, as the facility hosted the inaugural National School-age Championships and the American Open, for a second time.
U.S. Olympic Cycling Trials attracted large crowds and intense media coverage to the NSC Velodrome. USA cyclists went on to win two medals at the Barcelona Olympic Games.
The world’s most famous athlete, Pelé, opened USA CUP at the Opening Ceremony in the Metrodome.
The World Championship Cycling Trials at the NSC Velodrome selected the team to represent the U.S. at the World Cycling Championships in Hamar, Norway.
Star of the North State Games returned for the second time. The NSC hosted track and field, soccer, cycling, martial arts, opening ceremonies and the event headquarters.
U.S. Women’s National Team star Michelle Akers-Stahl appeared at the USA CUP Opening Ceremony.
The National Junior Weightlifting Championships were held in the Sports Hall.
USA CUP celebrated its 10th anniversary with 700 teams playing.
The All-American Girls Hockey Tournament was created by the NSC to tap into the growth of female hockey. Now the tournament is an annual event at the Super Rink.
The Masters World Cup cycling event returned to the NSC Velodrome for a second year.
US Youth Soccer National Championships were held on the NSC Fields.
All American Cup began its annual run. Initially the tournament occupied dates immediately before USA CUP. Now it has its own weekend in June.
USA International Hockey Cup marked the NSC’s first summer hockey tournament.
North American Indigenous Games attracted 8,000 athletes from U.S. and Canada.
USA CUP went high-tech with the unveiling of a new big thing at the time: a website!
Pelé returned to USA CUP for a second time. However, as dignitaries celebrated his arrival at a VIP dinner, a huge thunderstorm flooded the NSC campus in knee-deep water. Games were delayed and rescheduled, but eventually the tournament got back on schedule and concluded on time six days later.
The Minnesota Thunder, who were competing at the second level of U.S. pro soccer, played their first exhibition games against an MLS opponent at USA CUP. In a game against the LA Galaxy, in front of what was then a NSC Stadium record crowd of 15,412, the Thunder took Galaxy to an overtime shootout before falling 3-2.
The USA Weightlifting National Championships, the top domestic weightlifting event in the country, was held in the Sports Hall.
The (Schwan) Super Rink opened as the U.S.’s only ice facility with four sheets of Olympic-size rinks under one roof.
Schwan’s and Adidas joined USA CUP as new sponsors, and the event was renamed Schwan’s USA CUP. During USA CUP, the Minnesota Thunder professional team played an exhibition game against the Kansas City Wizards, losing 1-0 in front of 8,855 spectators.
The World Ultimate Championship brought the best disc sport athletes from 13 countries to the NSC Fields.
National Sports Center attendance topped 2 million visitors for the first time.
Minnesota Legislature approved $3.1 million for construction of the National Youth Golf Center. The rest of the $11 million project would be raised privately.
The Stick it to Cancer Hockey Tournament was created to raise funds for cancer treatment. Teams agreed to forego awards so more money can be donated to charity, a practice that still exists today.
EDS Cup cycling event attracted all the top North American riders to the NSC Velodrome.
National Junior B Hockey Championships started an annual run at the Super Rink.