Flashback Friday: Mall of America opens in 1992

Flashback Friday: Mall of America opens in 1992 Photo: Mall of America

Updated: August 16, 2019 11:25 AM

Mall of America, the largest retail complex in North America, opened its doors 27 years ago this week.

While MOA officially opened in 1992, its story really began in 1982 when the Twins and Vikings moved from Metropolitan Stadium to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The home plate from Met Stadium is still located in the mall on the floor of Nickelodeon Universe.


Three years later, Bloomington Port Authority purchased the 78 acres of real estate and started accepting proposals for development. The proposals included office complexes, condominiums and residential uses, a mixed use retail and entertainment center, and a new convention center and visitors bureau. However, in 1986, the port authority and Triple Five Group signed an agreement to develop the largest retail and entertainment complex in the United States.

Crews broke ground on the mall in 1989, and on Aug. 11, 1992, MOA opened with 330 stores and 10,000 employees.

IN-DEPTH: How a water park could keep Mall of America afloat

Twenty-seven years later, MOA has more than 520 stores, restaurants and other attractions, including a 27-ride theme park. Altogether, it occupies 5.6 million square feet and attracts more than 40 million people each year, about 40% of whom are tourists, according to MOA.

MOA held a celebration to mark the anniversary on Sunday in the rotunda.

Bloomington and MOA's owners are now working toward building a massive water park to help attract more visitors and "diversify" the mall.

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Josh Skluzacek

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