With all the crazy, fun, weird, exciting things that have happened in 25 years at Mall of America®, we could fill an entire deck of cards for Trivial Pursuit. Here are 25 bits of trivia you may not know about the Mall’s colorful history.
1. What was the Mall’s original slogan?
“A place for fun in your life.” (We still live it, even if we’ve moved on to other slogans.)
2. Who built the Mall?
The Ghermezian family, founders of Triple Five Group, who also built West Edmonton Mall in Canada—the largest mall in North America. Mall of America was their first U.S. project.
3. Why Minnesota?
The Ghermezians had a vision for a mammoth, city-like grouping of entertainment attractions and retail and went looking for land. It was shortly after Metropolitan Stadium had been razed, and the property’s proximity to both the airport and the Twin Cities was appealing to the Ghermezians.
4. Can you rent Mall of America?
If you land on the Mall of America space in the “Here and Now” edition of the popular board game Monopoly, you could end up paying as much as $6 million in rent (if there’s a hotel on the property).
5. Where can you find relics of Metropolitan Stadium at Mall of America today?
A plaque of home plate from the Minnesota Twins’ baseball field can be found in Nickelodeon Universe, near the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge. On the wall above Log Chute is a red stadium seat marking the spot where in 1967 Harmon Killebrew hit his longest homer—522 feet!—off the Angels’ Lew Burdette into the second deck of the ballpark.
6. Can the Mall give diplomas?
Not exactly, but for 19 years, the Metropolitan Learning Alliance, an alternative high school, operated out of the Mall.
7. What about health care at the Mall?
For about 18 months, Mayo Clinic experimented with a Healthy Living store where visitors could get wellness screenings and buy medical gear.
8. Can we pet the dogs?
The Mall has its own K-9 Explosive Detection Unit. With 15 dogs that help keep the Mall safe, it is one of the five largest units in the country. But these are working dogs; so while we ask that you don’t pet them while they’re on the job, they love to interact with visitors when they’re on a break.
9. Does it ever snow at MOA?
Despite the fact that it’s always 70 degrees inside, the Mall has created a social media storm during the holiday seasons by dousing the Rotunda with fake snow every time 1,000 people tweeted #Twizzard.
10. Who is the most famous person to work at MOA?
One day Joan Rivers went behind the counter at the QVC @ The Mall store to sell her jewelry. Let’s just say she earned her commission.
11. Which country band had a bar at the Mall when it opened?
That would be the Gatlin Brothers. They had a line-dancing club at the Mall in the early years. And if you forgot your cowboy hat, no problem—there were no fewer than five country-themed retailers at the Mall back then.
12. Before we called it MOA, the Mall’s most common nickname was what?
Megamall. Many media outlets described it as “mammoth” and “mega,” and the name “megamall” stuck for the first few years. Eventually, a branding campaign introduced the MOA moniker and people took to it.
13. What happens to the coins that get tossed into the pools around the mall?
The money gets donated to a different charity each month—it adds up to $24,000 every year! Your charity can even apply to be a recipient of this donation.
14. Where did Michael Jackson eat at Mall of America?
Rainforest Cafe, where he could keep a low profile between the trees.
15. The Disney Store used to have some competition from which Hollywood studio?
Warner Brothers had a Warner Bros. Studio Store at Mall of America in the 1990s, specializing in all things Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig.
16. Speaking of pigs…what happens to food waste from the Mall?
It goes to a local hog farm.
17. What did the Rotunda used to be called?
Sam Goody Central. And for a time it was also known as the Best Buy Rotunda.
18. The ‘90s version of Buckle was called what?
County Seat. But you can still shop Buckle on Level 2, East.
19. What are two ways to fly at the Mall?
Dutchman’s Deck is host to Barnacle Blast Zip Line, the longest indoor zip line in North America, allows park-goers to soar above Nickelodeon Universe (or, if you’re a Harlem Globetrotter, shoot jaw-dropping shots). And at FlyOver America, the flight simulation ride takes guests on a 10-minute aerial tour of the United States.
20. The Nickelodeon Universe bounce house is shaped like what fruit?
A pineapple! This is SpongeBob’s world. We’re just bouncing in it.
21. Which relative of the shark can you touch at Sea Life Mall of America Aquarium?
Stingrays! Go ahead and dunk your hand into the 12,000-gallon touch pool and make a new friend.
22. What famous diner served up burgers and malts at the Mall years before Shake Shack?
Boogie’s Diner, the ‘50s style diner with big attitude and a clothing line to match. Along with Planet Hollywood, this was the place to find celebs hanging out at MOA.
23. Which iconic Minnesota band played at the 2014 opening of Hard Rock Café at the Mall?
Morris Day & the Time brought the Jungle Love.
24. Who was being “adopted” at the 2004 MOA event hosted by Paula Abdul?
Cabbage Patch Kids. It was a “reunion” tour for the iconic doll.
25. Why is the West Market so much brighter than it used to be?
The Mall raised the roof. Literally. In 2014, a 450-foot-long skylight was installed to modernize the corridor.
There’s plenty more to discover at Mall of America. With 5.6 million square feet to explore, all you have to do is look.