It’s under heavy construction now, but in six months the Minneapolis Armory will host the hottest concerts in the days leading up the Super Bowl.
The historic downtown building will host Nomadic Live on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Super Bowl week, announced Nomadic Entertainment Group, a licensee of the NFL that hosts concerts around the big game.
If previous lineups are any indication, some of the top musicians should be playing at the Armory. In Houston, Nomadic hosted Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.
In previous Super Bowl cities, Nomadic Entertainment erected large tents for concerts. But in Minneapolis, Nomadic President Jack Murphy crossed paths with Ned Abdul, the prolific Twin Cities developer who has been working on a repositioning of the Armory for more than two years.
The owner was at a Thursday press conference naming the old Armory as the venue for Nomadic, but he watched from a third tier of what will be elevated suites in the building, far away from reporters.
Abdul has been mum about his plans for the Armory since he bought the building and said he would make it an event center, back in 2015.
Details of his renovations have slowly leaked out through city documents and on Thursday, when reporters were allowed to see the 1935 building for the first time since it was a parking garage (it was once the home to the Minneapolis Lakers).
The venue will have an 8,400-person capacity for concerts, with two rings of suites around the outside and a general admission floor.
For the Super Bowl concerts, the first ring of suites will be used by corporate event sponsors and 2,000 of their guests. The second, higher ring, will be similar to a Las Vegas club, with bottle and table service, Murphy said.
Bars stretch both sides of the first level, where Murphy said there’s room for 30 bartenders. An elevated floor is heated, so large blowers won’t be on during concerts. A restaurant is being planned on the side facing The Commons park.
Murphy has been organizing Super Bowl concerts for the past 13 years and he gushed over the Armory.
“You guys are pretty lucky to have this here after we leave,” he said. “It’s going to be an amazing space.”
Music acts will be announced in the last half of September and tickets will go on sale around Oct. 15, Murphy said. General admission tickets will cost $150 to $200 apiece, he said.
During the Super Bowl, a semi-underground level will have comedians, music and food before concerts begin.
Entourage Event Group will manage the Armory and intends to begin hosting corporate events in December. Entourage also manages Minneapolis Event Centers, Mansion at Uptown and Fineline Music Cafe.
“There will be some soft openings, (to) put a little stress on the building,” Murphy said.
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