A tornado that struck downtown Minneapolis August 19 caused an estimated $350,000 to $500,000 worth of damage to the Minneapolis Convention Center, according to Meet Minneapolis, the city’s convention and visitors association. Repairs to the convention center will be completed by September 7.

When the storm struck, the 2009 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was in session at the convention center, with 2,000 people in attendance.

The severe weather arrived shortly after the assembly’s afternoon plenary session had begun. Convention center staff moved the attendees into nearby halls, where they stayed for about one hour. The assembly then resumed with no further interruption. No injuries were reported.


The roof of an exhibit hall was damaged—an area roughly 60 feet by 300 feet—and water entered the building. In addition, four dock roll-up doors and several pedestrian doors were damaged.

The exhibit hall was not in use at the time of the storm, and Meet Minneapolis says the damage will have little effect on upcoming events. Meeting planners have been contacted and their events are being moved to comparable space. Events scheduled in other spaces within the convention center should not be affected.