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Minneapolis to host WWE SummerSlam 2026

WWE's SummerSlam coming to Minneapolis in 2026
WWE's SummerSlam coming to Minneapolis in 2026 02:43

MINNEAPOLIS — After losing WrestleMania 41 to Las Vegas, Minneapolis has been tagged in to host two nights of WWE SummerSlam in 2026.

The pro wrestling company announced its selection on Thursday, with the event set to take place at U.S. Bank Stadium on Aug. 1-2, 2026.

Minneapolis last hosted a WWE event in 2019, dubbed "TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs."

This will be the second time Minneapolis has hosted SummerSlam. The last time was in 1999, before the WWF rebranded itself as WWE. The main event was a "triple threat match" between Mankind, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H.

The 1999 event also featured then-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, a WWF veteran, as a guest referee.  

Jesse Ventura looks on as Mankind and Triple H duke it out during SummerSlam 1999 at Minneapolis' Target Center Craig Lassig/AFP via Getty Images

Minneapolis' selection for the 2026 event may be an olive branch after the WWE chose Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium to host next year's WrestleMania over U.S. Bank Stadium earlier this month.

WWE officials say WrestleMania 40, held last month in Philadephia, drew more than 145,000 attendees, making it the company's highest-grossing event ever.

Historically, Minnesota has been a pro- and amateur-wrestling hotbed, producing such stars as Ventura, Verne and Greg Gagne, Curt "Mr. Perfect" Henning, Brock Lesner, Justin "Bam Neely" Rocheleau, Richard "Ric Flair" Fliehr, Gable Steveson, Michael Hegstrand of the Road Warriors and Richard "Rick Rude" Rood. Legendary announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund also got his start with the Gagnes' American Wresting Association.

Specifically, the quant Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale was the birthplace of the Gagnes, Henning, Neely, Hegstrand, Rood and several other pro and amateur wrestlers, many of whom cut their teeth on the wrestling mats of Robbinsdale High School.

Businesses welcome economic boost

Minnesota Sports and Events team says they expect more than 100,000 fans to fill U.S. Bank Stadium over the two-day event.

Chris Tubbs, a co-host of American Wrestling Association Unleashed Podcast, has been a pro-wrestling fan his whole life.

To him, WWE is more than just a sport, it's a spectacle.

"I've always enjoyed the larger than life aspect of the entertainment, the athleticism, the storytelling. It's a soap opera for guys, and I bought into it when I was a kid," said Tubbs.

Last year, Detroit's Ford Field hosted SummerSlam, and 57% of attendees came from out of town, and nearly 9% were international. It brought $8.5 million in ticket sales, according to the WWE.

"It's still, ultimately, a chance to promote Minneapolis and the Twin Cities. You're still going to bring in a large scope of fans, so it's a huge deal, it's a big deal. It's not Wrestlemania, but it's the next best thing," said Tubbs.

Off the Rails Public House is just a block away from the stadium.

"When we hear they're coming into town, any big event like that, we just get rialed up, whether it's 2 years in advance or 2 weeks," said Darian Sammon, the General Manger of Off the Rails Public House. She says they hope short lived events, lead to long term customers.

"It brings in so much business where later on, those people that came in for one event, could be regulars eventually, so it's a huge deal for us," said Sammon.

Minnesota Sports and Events says they plan to have extra festivities and events surrounding the weekend as well.

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