The Alerus Center, which opened in February 2001, has hit the 20-year mark in offering the greater Grand Forks Community entertainment options, as well as being an economic driver for the region.

Over the course of its 20-year history, the Alerus Center has hosted a wide variety of events including weddings, UND athletic games, commencements, conventions, family shows and meetings. Since opening the doors in 2001, the building has welcomed more than 5 million visitors at over 7,000 events.

Alerus Center staff will be offering slices of red velvet birthday cake drive-thru style from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Entrance 1. Additionally, the center will be offering various giveaways and contests on its social media platforms throughout February.

“For 20 years, Greater Grand Forks area citizens have been provided with a space to host and attend events,” said Mayor Brandon Bochenski, in a news release. “These events are critical to getting business done and making memories. Our city is very fortunate to have a hybrid facility like this that helps to provide entertainment to the community, drive economic impact to local businesses, engage community partners and improve the quality of life in the region.”

Anna Rosburg, Spectra’s general manager of the facility, said she is honored to be part of bringing events to the venue. The mission of the center is to provide premier entertainment and events that stimulate economic impact and improve quality of life for residents in the region. Spectra manages the facility of behalf of the city

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“The venue is in the business of making memories, and our team takes great pride in all of the ways that Alerus Center has impacted the lives of those in our community and region through important life events during the past 20 years,” Rosburg said in the release.

Some of the marquee events have included Backstreet Boys, Cher, Britney Spears, George Strait, Metallica and KISS. In the fall, the Alerus Center is set to host Billboard’s 2020 Top Country Artist of the Year, Luke Combs.

“The popular vote to build Alerus Center after the Flood of 1997 was our citizens’ expression about their confidence in and hopes for the future of Grand Forks,” said Hal Gershman, who serves on the Alerus Center Commission. “Today, no one can imagine our city without this magnificent building.”