The 2016 Olympic Games… in Ely, Minnesota!

Picture it, more than 1,000,000 visitors packing into Ely (population almost 4,000)? Crews are preparing, draining Miners Lake to create the first in-ground Olympic Stadium and carving seats into the rock. Olympic Village? Yep. Aquatic facility? Absolutely. Rhythmic gymnastics? Badminton? Judo? No problem.

Okay, okay… maybe you’re too quick for this bit of April foolery. Or, perhaps you remember last year when we reported Canada was annexing Ely? It made national news, including USA Today’s roundup of 2008’s best April Fool’s pranks. And was covered on TV stations as far away as Ft. Myers. The folks in Ely heard from people in Japan, Europe, even Antarctica!

It’s that time again. We’re here to let you in on the joke early so you have time to report it the way you’d like.

Ely, Minnesota, is part of one million acres of unspoiled Northern Minnesota wilderness. It’s famed worldwide, yet, many Minnesotans have still never visited. So, we’re getting up in their faces with some new pranks.

Starting April Fool’s Day, the city will be running radio spots announcing Ely has entered a last-minute bid (a couple years late) to the International Olympic Committee for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. There’s also a faux press conference video that will be posted on You Tube and Ely’s website,, and a new microsite, More than just an April Fool’s gag, this campaign is designed to run all summer and will involve the whole town. Everyone in Ely is getting into the act.

If you’re interested in covering the “story” on April 1, we’ll help you create a piece that’s full of fun.

Think, how would Ely host the Olympics? The spots and video cover some of the logistics, including:
Where’s the stadium going to be? We’re draining a lake to create the first in-ground Olympic stadium.
How will Ely pay for it? Easy. Meat raffles. And (hopefully) some economic stimulus funds. (These are classic shovel-ready projects, don’t you think?)
What events would Ely add to the Olympics? Dock Dogs, fishing.
Accommodations for media and guests? Tent and canoe combo packages. Talk about great rates! S’mores anyone?

Call me and we can brainstorm a great angle for you.

Katie Welch-Peterson
NewsWorthy Communications

Kelly Plummer
NewsWorthy Communications

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