Parks & Recreation

Athletic Venues Reinvestment Initiative

AVRI Cover Photo

Project Status: Planning

Project Overview:

The Minnesota State Legislature approved a request from the City of Duluth to renew a one-half-of-one-percent increment in tourism taxes (half-and-half tourism tax) to fund improvements to parks-based athletic venues that drive regional sports tourism. The renewed half-and-half tourism tax, titled the Athletic Venue Reinvestment Initiative (AVRI), will provide up to $36 million of investment and will be implemented in phases over a decade. Per state law, the half-and-half tourism tax dollars may only be spent on athletic facilities that currently host, or could in the future host, events and competitions that attract numerous participants from outside the Duluth region.

Indoor Athletic Venues: 22 community members have been appointed to the Mayoral Indoor Athletics Venues Task Force to advise strategies to make better use of existing indoor venues, forge effective public-private partnerships, renovate or replace existing indoor venues, and construct new indoor venues. Task Force members will work in collaboration with City staff, project partners, and consultants to develop and deliver findings by September 30, 2024. The Task Force is chaired by Todd Fedora, former Duluth City Councilor and longtime regional leader in commercial banking.

Outdoor Athletic Venues: Prioritized re-investments will be made at existing parks-based outdoor athletics venues that drive regional sports tourism. Future investments will be based on an in-depth needs assessment and a comprehensive community engagement process. The City will work with a consulting firm to assist with community engagement, investment recommendations, market-based cost estimates, site planning, and implementation strategies.

Project Update:

Detailed updates for the Phase 1 - Time Sensitive Projects can be found on the individual project pages. Phase 1 projects include:

Enger Park Golf Course Irrigation System

Gary New Duluth Recreation Area Skate Park

Spirit Mountain Nordic Center

The inaugural meeting of the Indoor Athletics Venues Task Force took place in December 2023.


Detailed project selection and phasing for AVRI is under development. At this time, the guiding framework is intended to be as follows:

2023 – 2024: Phase 1 – Time Sensitive Projects

2025 – 2027: Phase 2 – Primary Outdoor Sports Venues

2027 – 2029: Phase 3 – Indoor Sports Venues

2030 – 2034: Phase 4 – Additional Outdoor Sports Venues

For more detailed information on AVRI, please review the presentation linked below in the “Important Documents” section.