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Northern Minnesota's Premier Venue



The Sanford Center broke ground in April of 2009 and officially opened doors in October of 2010. Our building is the home of the Men's and Women's Bemidji State University Beaver Hockey Teams. Attached to the building you will find the George W. Neilson Convention Center. Between the Arena and Convention Center we have hosted a number of different events: hockey games, concerts, wedding receptions, expos, conventions, meetings, rodeos and graduation ceremonies.

By the numbers:

  • 193,000 square feet
  • 4,373 hockey seating capacity
  • 25 private suites

Our Convention Center has 3 ballrooms which can open up into a 10,000 square foot room and 4 lakeside rooms which can divide into four rooms of 1,000 square feet.

Mission Statement

The Sanford Center will enhance the quality of life in Northern Minnesota by providing a gathering place for cultural, recreational, educational and entertainment events.  We will create outstanding guest experiences while remaining fiscally responsible and contributing to the economic development of the City and region.

Venue Management

The Sanford Center is managed by VenuWorks, a full management service to theatres, arenas and convention centers. In addition to its facility management service, VenuWorks manages food and beverage and operations, as well as performs feasibility studies, does consulting work and provides event booking and promotion services.



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