The Alerus Center is an indoor arena and convention center located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The facility is owned and operated by the city of Grand Forks and opened on February 10, 2001. The arena’s major tenant is the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux football team. The arena also plays host to many large concerts, sporting events, and trade shows. It can seat more than 21,000 people at one time. The convention center section of the facility includes a 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) ballroom and 12 meeting rooms. The convention center is used for conferences, seminars, banquets, parties, and smaller concerts. Directly adjacent to the Alerus Center is a large hotel and waterpark complex called the Canada Inns Destination Center.
The Alerus Center is named after a local financial institution, Alerus Financial, which purchased the building’s naming rights. Prior to opening, the facility had been referred to as the Aurora Events Center.
The Alerus Center has played host to many popular musical acts including Cher, The Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, KISS, Aerosmith, Bette Midler, Cirque du Soleil, and Mötley Crüe. The 2002 Cher Living Proof: The Farewell Tour concert was the largest such event ever held at the arena and, at that time, was the largest audience the entertainer had ever performed in front of. Other non-music events have also been held at the Alerus Center including WWE Smackdown and the 2008 North Dakota Democratic-NPL Convention featuring presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speaking. Britney Spears performed at the arena in the Fall of 2009, as part of her extended Circus Tour.