Minneapolis hotel occupancy reached new heights last week thanks in large part to the sold-out Big Ten women’s basketball tournament.

Minneapolis hotels sold nearly 60,000 hotel rooms throughout the first full week of March, as the city welcomed more than 200,000 people, according to data shared by Meet Minneapolis on Thursday. That translates to more than $11.5 million in total guest room revenue, an increase of more than 176% from the same week in 2023.

Hotel occupancy in Minneapolis was almost 82.9% from March 3-9, when it’s typically much lower due to the seasonality of travel. The weekly occupancy rate was only 38.5% during the same period in 2023.

Minneapolis hasn’t seen such a high weekly occupancy rate since Oct. 6-12, 2019, when it was at 83.1%.

The biggest driving forces of hotel occupancy last week were the American Physical Society meeting March 3-8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, with roughly 12,000 attendees, and the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament March 6-10 at Target Center, with more than 109,000 fans.

A total of 9,991 hotel rooms were occupied on Tuesday, March 5. That figure surpasses the previous single-day mark set twice in June 2023, when 9,888 hotel rooms were occupied on June 13, 2023 for the inaugural USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships (ages 11-13) and again on June 23, 2023 for the convergence of Taylor Swift’s concerts at U.S Bank Stadium, Twin Cities Pride in Loring Park and the Kiwanis International Convention at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Hotel occupancy on March 5 was 97.3% – the highest daily occupancy rate since 97.5% of hotel rooms were booked on Oct. 24, 2019.

It’s important to note that Minneapolis has more hotel rooms now than it’s ever had before.

Currently, there are 10,268 rooms across the city, and most of them are downtown. Forty of Minneapolis’ 46 hotels are located downtown, according to hospitality industry data provider Smith Travel Research, which supplied all of the figures to Meet Minneapolis.

Hotel room supply has increased more than 17% since the Super Bowl in 2018.

Meet Minneapolis previously announced that 2023 was the strongest year for the city’s hotels since 2019, before the pandemic. Hotel occupancy averaged 51% in 2023, a more than 9% increase compared to 2022, despite an almost 6% increase in room supply.

Read the full 2023 report from Meet Minneapolis.

Clearly, 2024 is already off to a great start, and Meet Minneapolis expects the momentum to continue.

This week, more than 120,000 people are expected to visit for the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament, events at the Minneapolis Convention Center, including the Northwest Sportshow and Jurassic Quest, and regularly scheduled concerts and shows.

Other major events happening later this year in downtown Minneapolis include the Northern Lights Junior Volleyball qualifier March 22-24, the USA Gymnastics championships June 22-26, and the U.S. Olympic team trials June 27-30.

Minneapolis is rumored to be in the running to host WWE WrestleMania in 2025. Kevin Kurrt told KARE 11 that the event and its impact are “on par with a Super Bowl or Final Four.”