Mankato, MN | Government + Cultural
ISG worked with the City and Minnesota State University, Mankato, to design the Verizon Center and bring conventions, concerts, and expos to Greater Mankato.
In order to avoid missing out on conventions and other major events coming to Mankato, there was a significant need for a downtown events space that could be utilized by a multitude of groups.
Located in downtown Mankato, the Verizon Center was built in 1995 to stimulate economic growth and revitalization in the region. To further promote this premier regional facility and meet the growing demand for convention, expo, and concert space, the City of Mankato, Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU,M), and ISG collaborated to expand and renovate the Verizon Center. Flexibility was a primary objective when planning the facility’s additions and renovations. To avoid losing convention business to other markets, a new auditorium was constructed and a former U.S. Bank building was remodeled to dedicate space that can accommodate many different types of event programming. These additions also allowed for the relocation and upgrade of the MSU,M Men’s and Women’s Hockey facilities. While boasting new locker rooms, training and conditioning rooms, and coach and operations offices, upgrades were also made to the existing arena to meet expectations of fans, players, and teams at the Division 1 level.
The auditorium encompasses 21,000 sq. ft. of exhibit floor space and has a seating capacity of up to 2,000 attendees. Designs included the roof framing, rigging systems, and acoustics necessary to hold performing arts events such as concerts, symphonies, and banquets. Part of the remodeled building provides back of house functions such as storage, marshalling space, truck loading docks, and dressing rooms. Retractable seating and a removable stage allow for quick transformations between tradeshows and concerts, cutting down on costs and increasing programming capabilities. Before entering the main auditorium, visitors are greeted by large exterior glazing, wide windows, and open stairs in the pre-function space, which is available for small gatherings. Beyond the auditorium and arena, the Verizon Center also houses an upper level concourse, ballroom, exterior plaza, and historic reception hall.
With over 70,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and event space, the newly renovated facility has the capacity to house a multitude of different events and generates more than $42 million annually. Hosting more than 350,000 people a year, the Verizon Center is a source of pride for the City of Mankato.