MINNEAPOLIS - Consider this weekend the warm-up act to perhaps one of the biggest acts for the city in some time.
Kenny Chesney performed for thousands at Target Field on Friday night. The Basilica Block Party is going on Friday and Saturday. Both are expected to bring in about $8 million worth of business for Minneapolis.
"I've never seen it like this before. It's crazy out here," said Mike Siegler, who works downtown.
"2013 is exciting, but we're also looking forward to 2014," said Amanda DePhillips, marketing director for Meet Minneapolis.
The USA Volleyball Junior Girls Championship, the Shriners International Convention and Major League Baseball's All-Star Game will cover about two months of the calendar next year generating about $140 million or more for the city.
"Eight full weeks of visitors who have never seen Minneapolis in the way that they've seen in maybe in the past," said DePhillips.
The work is just beginning.
"This year is the best time for us to plan for next year," she said.
Case in point, DePhillips will be heading to New York on Monday to get an up close look at how the Big Apple handles this year's All Star game.
"And by seeing those things first hand and taking copious notes, we can be as best prepared as possible," she said.
And by handling those big gigs well now, they hope to get bigger gigs in the future, but DePhillips isn't elaborating on which ones could be targeted.
"Once people come here, we know they are going to come back," she said.
If this weekend is a judge, the possibilities are endless.
"How many outdoor concerts can you go to? Minneapolis has a lot to offer," said Nancy Anderson.
She and her neighbor Jaymee Ostrom, of Ellsworth, Wis., came for Kenny Chesney, but will stay for Minneapolis.
"The environment is a major key point," said Ostrom.
"It's good for the city. It's good to see the vibrant activity," added Siegler.
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