Take a Walk Through The History of The Armory
by Bradley Loiederman

December is an exciting month for Minneapolis amenities: the new Nicollet Mall opened up earlier in the month, and in just three days, The Armory will be hosting its first show since the remodel. The Horizon tour, featuring Seven Lions, Kill The Noise, and Tritonal, will fill The Armory with all kinds of dance music this Friday. While this may be the first Armory show since its remodel, The Armory has been around for over 80 years. Take a look at this quick timeline of the history of this new venue.


The Armory was originally built for the Minnesota National Guard in 1935; however, the National Guard allowed it to be used primarily for public events, such as political conventions, sporting events, and concerts starting in the late 1930s.


The Minneapolis Lakers started calling The Armory as a secondary home starting in the 1947-48 season. They continued to use it as part-time until the 1959-60 season, which they dedicated The Armory as their primary home. In 1960, however, the team moved to Los Angeles.


The Minnesota National Guard ceased operations at The Armory, allowing it to be used fully as an entertainment space. The ’80s were an era of cultural prosperity for The Armory. In 1982, Prince shot the iconic video for his song “1999”; and in 1984, Hüsker Dü and The Dead Kennedy’s played one of their best-known shows at The Armory.


In 1989, Hennepin County bought The Armory with plans to demolish it and build a county jail. However, with a big pushback from the Minnesota Historical Society, the plans for the jail were taken down in court, and the county sold the building a few years later.


In 1998, right after Aerosmith recorded their video for “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the space, Hennepin County sold The Armory to a private company. Shortly following the sale, the company was granted the right to turn the space into a parking structure so long as the building itself stayed preserved.


In 2012, The Armory was sold to Swervo with plans to redevelop the space and bring it back to its glory days. Ned Abdul, the owner of Swervo, noticed the musical history of this space and decided to bring those days back. Shortly after, renovations started.


On Friday, December 15th, Seven Lions, Kill The Noise, and Tritonal will be the first artists to play at The Armory since its resurgence. The Armory will be the first of its kind that Minneapolis has seen: state-of-the-art lights and sound and a large-scale capacity all right next to the US Bank Stadium.

Come be a part of Minnesota music history and join us for the first Armory show with the Horizon Tour! Tickets are available here.