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McNamara Alumni Center – A Stunning Backdrop for the Ryder Cup Kick-Off Dinner


McNamara Alumni Center – A Stunning Backdrop for the Ryder Cup Kick-Off Dinner

MINNEAPOLIS – While the battle for the ultimate prize – the Ryder Cup – would start the next day in nearby Chaska, Minnesota, United States and European professional golfers, team captains and tournament officials met at McNamara Alumni Center, on the University of Minnesota campus, for a formal dinner on a cool and breezy September 28th evening. McNamara, a stunning venue that offers guests a unique, breathtaking experience into Minnesota history and landscape, was a perfect setting to honor the world’s most talented golfers.

In 2002, Minnesota was chosen to be the host of the 2016 Ryder Cup. Planners in charge of selecting a location wanted a very Minnesota-esque feel for the welcome dinner. With guidance from metroConnections, a Twin Cities-based corporate planning firm, the PGA arranged a site visit of McNamara and instantly fell in love with the space. The planners joked that they usually compete with their European counterparts who typically have historic libraries or impressive castles at their fingertips for venue choices.

“McNamara Alumni Center was a hit with the PGA and with our metroConnections team from the minute we walked in at our first site visit,” Samantha Hoffer, Senior Program Manager for metroConnections said.

“We were looking for a venue that spoke uniquely to Minnesota and had a clean, yet interesting palate to build the event and décor around. The rich copper & wood tones of McNamara were perfectly masculine and provided a great backdrop for an upscale event. McNamara was a wonderful partner.”

Guests were also greeted with gold charger plates and chivari chairs, along with purple calla lilies and hydrangeas, which perfectly complimented the wooden and copper tones of Memorial Hall. As impressive as Memorial Hall was, the food service provided by D’Amico Catering was just as spectacular. D’Amico servers flawlessly performed synchronized service. 55 servers filed in a line from the kitchen with a plate in each hand, a server for every 2 guests.

The award-winning caterer provided a five-course dinner with wine pairings, which drew from a Minnesota-inspired menu. Items included braised bison short ribs, seared sea bass, warm wild rice and cranberry walnut bread and smoked trout with horseradish, just to name a few.

At the dinner’s conclusion, a momentous, final toast and send-off was given to the European and USA teams. The clapping and camaraderie could be heard throughout McNamara.