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Mayo Civic Center is Southern Minnesota's premier destination for local, regional, national and international conventions, entertainment, social and sporting opportunities. Serving as a vital economic generator for the region, Mayo Civic Center focuses on providing an exceptional experience by delivering world-class service and high-quality, versatile facilities.
It is always our goal to strive to meet the needs of visitors and clients while balancing the various interests of our community. We achieve this objective in several ways each day:
- Providing quality services in a professional manner
- Listening to and anticipating customers' needs
- Delivering timely and accurate services
- Serving all customers fairly and equally
- Working to establish and maintain effective relationships
Designed as a dual-venue complex to provide much-needed entertainment for the citizens of a growing community, the Mayo Civic Center first opened its doors in 1939.
Then known as the Mayo Civic Auditorium, the original brick & concrete structure housed two very different types of activities. The 1,700 seat arena was designed to promote athletic events and included a rink for skating and ice hockey. The 1,340 seat theatre was intended as a showcase for fine arts and was designed to accommodate midsized theatrical and musical productions. The complex had separate entrances for each venue but a connected back-of-house area. Balconies were constructed in both the theatre and arena. The original building was designed by Ellerbe and Company of St. Paul, MN.
1938 – The cornerstone was laid, and Mayo Civic Auditorium was dedicated and opened in March 1939.
1972 – Significant modifications and improvements are completed, including air conditioning systems for the arena and theatre and a new room to the south of the arena to accommodate mechanical equipment.
1978 – The addition of a flood control gate at the entrance to the theatre is completed in response to damage from the flooding of the Zumbro River.
1984 – With the addition of the Taylor Arena and the Riverview Suites, the space formerly known as the arena is renamed the auditorium and the Mayo Civic Auditorium becomes the Mayo Civic Center.
1994 – The Zumbro River Flood Control Project is completed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
1995 – The connection to the Skyway System is completed.
1997 – An expansion to the west adds a much-needed concourse to the theatre, four Civic Center Suites and a Grand Ballroom in addition to a significant remodeling of the theatre.
1998 – Rochester voters authorize an extension of the city's 1/2% sales tax which, combined with a bonding grant from the state of Minnesota clears the way for the renovation of the auditorium, updating connectivity technology and updating existing HVAC and finishes.
2001 – The new 25,200 square foot Exhibit Hall addition is completed.
2015 – Ground was broken for a significant convention center expansion adding a 40,000 sq. ft. ballroom and 16 breakout rooms to the existing facility. In addition to the convention center addition, major upgrades to the 1938 Presentation Hall were made that included improving the acoustics and adding new lighting and seating to the theatre. Construction was completed in 2017.