Requesting Use of Public Space for an Event at the Capitol and on Capitol Grounds
The Minnesota Department of Administration maintains and administers the State Capitol Building and the Capitol Complex as provided for under MN Statute 16B.24, and Minnesota Rule 1235 (permits for public rallies) and Minnesota Rules 7525 (Capitol Security and prohibited acts).
"Public rallies" means parades, demonstrations, gatherings, festivals, concerts, speeches, or rotunda ceremonies, and other related uses of the buildings, grounds, and state-owned streets on the Capitol Complex.
The following rules are necessary to allow public use of the State Capitol Complex buildings and grounds.
- Requests must be submitted to the Department of Administration, at least 7 days prior to the event. Reservations for public meeting rooms can be made with less than 7 days' notice, if available. Many events require several weeks to finalize the event plan and receive final approval, as some requests require consultation with Public Safety (Capitol Security), the City of Saint Paul, the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board, or the Minnesota Historical Society.
- Reservations for conference rooms and public spaces must be entered online using Capitol Complex Reservations or by contacting Facilities Management Division at 651-201-2300, Office hours are
Monday – Friday, 7am – 4:30pm, excluding state holidays.
- The Applications for public spaces will be provided to the email address entered in your reservation or may be obtained from the Facilities Management website at: http://mn.gov/admin/government/public-events/
- Events cannot be announced, promoted, or advertised until the applicant receives an Application status verified as Tentative or Approved from the state.
- Notice of Tentative status, allows an applicant to advertise the event. Additional information must be provided to the State to receive final Approval.
- No public event permit is approved until the applicant receives confirmation of final approval from the Department of Administration.
- State Event Contacts are the only authorized personnel to provide event direction and answer questions.
- To gain Tentative status, the application must provide the following:
- Date and time of event
- Location of event
- Type of event
- Number of participants expected
- Number of event support staff (help applicant oversee the Rules and use of public space)
- Program agenda/topic
- Known opposition/counter-protest
- Submit online, in person, by fax, or via email to email@example.com
- To gain final approval, as applicable, the applicant must provide the following information:
- Final agenda including guest speakers, timeline, and flow of event
- Approved copy of all other required permits, such as for events including food, beverage, marches, generators, tents, road closures, or noise variances.
- A delivery plan, escort plan, security and safety plan, traffic plan, restroom plan, and electricity plan, if required by the Department of Administration, may be required for final approval.
- Source/vendor and delivery plan for all equipment and vendors may be required.
- Verification of limited liability insurance may be required.
- All props and equipment needed for the event must be described in the application, including event site plans and diagrams. Any change in submitted event layout plans must be provided to the state prior to a change of plans.
- Safety and security are concerns each applicant needs to consider for its participants.
Additional security can be provided by Public Safety (Capitol Security, 651-296-6741) on a fee basis.
The City of Saint Paul may also require safety and security as part of their permit process.
General Guidelines (all events)
- Collection or exchange money, alms, or donations; or solicitation for money on state property is prohibited. However, sales may be authorized in the adjacent city streets provided that a block party permit in obtained through the City of St. Paul.
- A Block Party Permit through the City of St. Paul is necessary for a road closure, which will then allow sales in an outdoor event plan.
- It is prohibited to display any form of advertising.
- Items/props used for the event may not impede normal business operations or create safety concerns.
- Items such as, but not limited, to posters, signs, banners, flags, buntings, and pictures are not to be attached to, leaned against, or supported by any state property including walls, pillars, steps, trees, shrubs, light poles, or any other item(s) in state buildings or on Capitol Grounds.
- Standing or climbing on any parts of furniture, buildings, memorials, monuments, or structures is not authorized.
- Relocating, dragging, or sliding of any materials, equipment, or furniture on any surfaces is unauthorized unless express permission is granted by the State.
- Spray paint, spray chalk, sidewalk chalk and other pavement marking mediums and materials are prohibited on Capitol Grounds and may not be used at a public event.
- Food, flowers, and beverages with red or purple dyes or pigments are not allowed (roses, red wine, strawberries) in the Capitol Building.
- Model aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS's) which include drones, are not permitted on or above Capitol Grounds or inside buildings on Capitol Complex.
- Hover boards are not allowed.
- Stickers may not be used or distributed at indoor/outdoor events.
- Tape may not be used on any state property including duct tape, gaffers tape, or masking tape.
- Balloons are not to be used, distributed, or displayed at indoor and outdoor events.
- No candles, open fires, flames, or smoke are to be used at events, indoors or outdoors.
- Sleeping or lying down is prohibited at all times on any paved or improved areas including but not limited to streets, roads, sidewalks, steps, curbs, gutters, doorways, alcoves, floors, benches, and walls.
- Sleeping or lying down is prohibited on any unimproved (grass) area of the Capitol Complex from one half-hour after sunset to one half-hour before sunrise.
- The event applicant is responsible for the immediate removal of all rented equipment including portable restrooms, food, waste, and recycling equipment.
- Equipment may be rented, and the required tape to secure electrical cords, may be purchased through the Minnesota Historical Society at 651-259-3298.
Food & Beverage
- Food and beverages are prohibited in the Rotunda, Exhibit Gallery and Cass Gilbert Room of the Capitol Building.
- Food, flowers, and beverages with red or purple dyes or pigments are not allowed (roses, red wine, strawberries) in the Capitol Building.
- The intent to distribute food and or beverage must be disclosed in the application.
- Food and beverage provided at a public event may require a permit from the MN Department of Health.
- Cafeteria seating areas are available for reservation before or after the designated lunch period of the café. It is not permissible to cater food from an outside vendor into the café during the lunch period.
- Reservations are not available in the Rathskeller Monday-Friday, during business hours.
- Food in the Capitol: The Capitol Café (Rathskeller) is leased to a vendor. After-hours events requesting use of public space in the Capitol Building must use the contract food service vendor for food, beer, wine and beverage catering. All costs will be the responsibility of the applicant.
- After-hours: additional authorization is required for all after-hours requests.
- Reservations for the Rotunda are limited to 4 hours and may be made from 8 am to Noon or from 1 pm to 5pm. This includes setup and take down time.
- In the Rotunda, and Cass Gilbert Room, exits must be kept clear.
- Stanchions in use are not to be moved. The Star in the Rotunda is not to be straddled, stood upon, or walked on.
- Poles and sticks, including flag poles and sticks that are part of signs, are not allowed in the buildings.
- Noisy events which disrupt state business, the normal operations of state government, and the public right to safe use or reasonable enjoyment of public spaces are prohibited.
- The use of music during an event must be requested at the time of reservation.
- Sounds amplification is permitted.
- A maximum noise level of 85 decibels will be enforced. These levels are measured at the exterior doors of facilities, inside the Capitol at the Chamber doors, and on first floor.
- No music is allowed in the Capitol during a time period that approximates the last six weeks of the legislative session (this date changes according to anticipated deadlines).
- Bull horns are not allowed inside buildings.
- Displays (unattended) are allowed in the East Hall, West Hall, and North Corridor of the Capitol. Displays are to be in the center of the corridor and are not to block or impede access to the adjoining rooms and corridors.
- During the legislative session, active attended displays are not permitted; only static displays are allowed for up to two weeks. All displays are to be set up, maintained, and removed in a timely non-disruptive manner, and every precaution must be taken to protect the space from any damage.
- All stairs and lobbies will remain open for public safety and are not to be used for events or lobbying efforts.
- All cords must be secured (to floors only) to ensure the safety of pedestrians, and only 3M #471 tape is to be used. 3M #471 tape may be obtained through the MN Historical Society at 651-259-3298 or http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/facility-rental.
- For outdoor events, it is recommended that you provide/rent portable toilet facilities. At least one portable toilet should be ADA accessible.
- Keep in mind, there is no water source outdoors on Capitol grounds.
- Driving on the grass is strictly prohibited. It is the applicant's responsibility to tell all vendors and delivery drivers of this requirement.
- Driving on the sidewalks is by permission only. Any damage caused by vehicle use, including fuel and oil drips, is the responsibility of the event applicant.
- Defacing of state property and grounds including sidewalks, curbs, and plazas by use of paint, stain, permanent marker, ink or washable color is prohibited.
- Use of tents and canopies must be described in the event application to determine if additional permitting is required.
- Stakes, posts and poles may not be pounded or tapped into the ground, including markers and tent stakes, unless a utility locate has been completed and authorization to penetrate the ground surface through an approved permit from Gopher State One Call and Facilities Management has been obtained.
- Tents and stages may require city inspection and a permit through the City of St. Paul. Weighting requests must be pre-approved by Facilities Management (e.g. weights holding down tent).
- Marches may need additional permits, security, and other local permit approvals if city property is involved.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure trash, food waste, recycling, animal waste, and other debris has been removed from the Capitol Complex following the event.
- Arrangements for electrical needs must be scheduled as part of the application process.
- Sound amplification is permitted and may not exceed 85 decibels.
- Power source locations are located at numerous locations in the Capitol and on the Capitol Complex.
- Sound with the potential of exceeding permissible levels may require a noise variance through the City of St. Paul, Department of Safety and Inspection.
- Connection to the State's 100 AMP 3-Phase power source requires a certified electrician and city approval.
- City permits may be required when using and/or providing heat and/or propane.
- Public parking is limited during legislative session. Refer to the map that comes with your application packet indicating state-owned public metered spaces and city metered spaces, and share this information with your event participants.
- Event parking is not permitted in contract parking facilities Monday through Friday 6 am to 5 pm on Capitol Complex.
- No unauthorized parking on any state property.
- Street parking, both signed and metered, is controlled by the City of Saint Paul (except for the state meters on Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., between Cedar and Robert Streets).
- Parking for the Capitol Building after-hours events is conveniently located in the Administration Ramp. The Department of Administration reserves the right to charge parking fees for event use.
Notice to Lobbyist and Lobbyist Principal Organizations
Before submitting a Request for Use of Capitol Complex Facilities for Public Events application, it should be determined whether or not the proposed use is prohibited by MN Statute Chapter 10A or Chapter 471. Please call 651.201.2300 for further information.
- Under Minnesota Statute 10A.071, if you are a lobbyist or if your organization is a lobbyist principal, you may not give a gift to a public official (as defined by Minnesota Statutes, 10A.01, subd. 18), employee of the legislature, or local official of a metropolitan governmental unit.
- Under Minnesota Statute 471.895, if you are, or if you represent an organization that qualifies as an "interested person", you may not give a gift to any local official.
- There are very few items which do not qualify as a "gift" under this law. In particular, food and beverages qualify as "gifts" even if they are of minimal value. Although it is not prohibited if the recipient pays equal or greater value for the gift, under Minnesota Rule 7525.0400, selling and accepting any payments while using public space is prohibited.
General Applicant Conduct
- The applicant will be responsible to manage the event during the entire time, including during set-up, take-down, and clean-up.
- The applicant is responsible for the complete and thorough clean-up of the event and that the event space is left in the same condition as it was found.
- The applicant is responsible for removal of all materials and debris connected with the event.
- The applicant is responsible to comply with all federal, state, and city laws, rules, and ordinances.
- Consumption of intoxicating liquors is not allowed in any place open to the public within the City of Saint Paul (Code of Ordinances section 245.01).