(BEMIDJI, MINN)           After working hard in 2020 to keep their business going through a challenging year, 2021 has been different and better for the Bemidji Sports Centre since construction work on the Line 3 Replacement project started last December.  Store owner Eugene Teigland says the Bemidji Sports Centre has seen more foot traffic and has had sales increase by almost 50 percent.  

Since the start of construction in December, more than 5,000 pipeline workers are now on the job across the 14 counties along the pipeline route. Many of the workers are buying warm weather gear such as coats, bibs, gloves and neck gaiters.  Enbridge has been investing in snowmobiles and trailers while project contractors Precision Pipeline, MN Limited, and Charps are going for side-by-side and off-road vehicles to support project work.

“Typically, January, February and March are slow months, especially when Minnesota doesn’t see much snow,” said Eugene Teigland, “Last year was obviously a hard time for all us across Northern Minnesota because of COVID.  This year and the start of construction has been different because of the pipeline workers.  Already our business year-to-date is greater than usual and that is because of Line 3.”

Crews continue to make significant progress despite the cold winter and efforts by project opponents to try to use legal action to stop work. Recently a federal appellate court judge denied a request by opponents to stop work by making unfounded claims related to the environmental review and the Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a petition from the Red Lake Band and the White Earth Band of Ojibwe to halt construction. Work on the project is now about one-third complete.

Enbridge has spent more than six years working to replace the Line 3 Pipeline.  The process started in 2014 during the Obama-Biden Administration under a consent decree that ordered the existing pipeline be replaced.  The company then submitted their application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2015 to replace it as part of the company’s integrity and maintenance driven program.  The Line 3 project is the most reviewed pipeline project in Minnesota history and has been reviewed by state and federal agencies and regulators for almost six years. 

“Having Line 3 come through the community is showing even the naysayers the many benefits of the project.” Teigland said. “It’s easy to see how this is helping our community and other towns along the route.  In Bemidji, the new customers have been a welcomed addition. All in all, it’s making a big difference and there are happy businesses owners all across town.”

The Teigland Family purchased a Honda-Yamaha dealership and wanted to turn it into an all-around sporting goods store because of their love of the great outdoors. They expanded it to create the Bemidji Sports Center by adding Polaris vehicles and other products.  They have been able to continually expand, growing out of their original space and eventually moving to the corner of Anne Street and Hwy 71 North in Bemidji.

Today, Bemidji Sports Centre continues to be a family run business and employs over 25 people, who together provide sales, service and delivery of Off-Road Products, Water Recreation, On-Road Motorcycles and Snowmobiles.


Contact: Susan Goudge | 218-556-3617