Dear Rochester,

You're not the only one with questions as to why Mayo Civic Center is changing its name.

Recently, I had the same questions about the name change that you did. I couldn't understand why an item that had remained consistent had to be altered.

Mayo Civic Center- photo by Kim David/Townsquare Media
Mayo Civic Center- photo by Kim David/Townsquare Media

I received answers to questions we've all had about this topic from Erin Okins, Marketing Manager at Mayo Civic Center. As of this writing, we don't know what the new name will be yet. However, there's been a few suggestions from promoters and city leaders. Here's a look at why Mayo Civic Center is changing their name.


  • How did the name change discussion originate?

"We have heard from clients that the name is confusing. We receive doctor appointment calls and shipments for shows mistakenly get sent to Mayo Clinic. I have welcomed people to our building, learning after talking with them that they think they are at the clinic! The building of the convention center expansion then sparked that we need to do something about this because we (Rochester itself and the Mayo Civic Center) is not well known outside of the region. Sales staff always has to start conversations by identifying ourselves and clarify that we are talking about Rochester, Minnesota and not one of the 17 other Rochester’s. This branding process started back in November 2016 and went through an intense research and discovery process. We learned:

- "That having our place name in our naming structure is important (Rochester, MN). So setting the stage early that we are talking about Rochester, Minnesota.

- "That “Civic Center” is no longer a common naming structure for a convention and event facility and it is no longer contemporary. (We are only 1 of 7 left in the United States).

- "The current name indirectly implies the location of Rochester, Minnesota due to the Mayo Clinic, but it depends on an awareness that Rochester, MN is the home of the Mayo Clinic."


  • What was the feedback from promoters and entertainers on the name change?

"Promoters were included in all of the testings. The results of the overall testing showed that 78.4% of respondents selected Rochester, MN Convention, and Event Center as the new name of the center."


  • Why are you for the name change?

"I think we have to listen to our users: meeting planners, promoters, locals (we conducted focus groups), sporting event planners, etc. We want their events to be a success, so we need to listen to what resonates with them and their users. The new name recommendation would also help our sales staff when they are promoting our awesome city to people outside of the region. They can’t lead with “come to the Mayo Civic Center.” Well, where is it? We need to lead with our destination and then talk about our versatile venue. Having the place name structure in the name will help with any confusion."


  • Which name would you, personally, like to go with?

"Rochester, MN Convention and Event Center. In-market, if approved, we would be able to use Rochester Convention and Event Center. We are truly a multi-use facility, hosting sports, concerts, theater, socials, conventions and meetings. This name captures all that we do here."


Erin added, "I also want to mention that part of the recommendations from the branding agency suggests that we honor the Mayo Brothers, whether it be naming a venue within the building or otherwise and this is an important piece. We have every intension of honoring the gift that was given to the city."

Overall, it seems that test results lead to the conclusion that a name change needed to be evaluated. We're happy to hear that quite a bit of research was done regarding this topic, and that the Myo Brothers will indeed still be honored.



Someone who is no longer confused.

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