Xcel Energy Center: Located
in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota’s
capitol city, the Xcel Energy Center is a multi
purpose sports and entertainment venue. As part
of the RiverCentre Convention Complex, the Xcel
Energy Center spans 650,000 square feet and is
home to four separate concourses on four seating
levels that hold 18,064 fans for National Hockey
League games. The “X,” as it is commonly
called, is uniquely designed to welcome visitors
and in 2004 was named “the best overall
sports venue in the U.S.” by ESPN.
The Xcel Energy Center is owned
by the city of Saint Paul and operated by the
Saint Paul Arena Company. The public investment
in the Xcel Energy Center by the city of Saint
Paul and the State of Minnesota was $130 million.
The Minnesota Wild also made a substantial investment
for enhancements to the venue in order to better
the fan experience for hockey and other events.
Naming rights for the arena were sold to the electric
company conglomerate, Xcel Energy Inc., who paid
3 million dollars per year for 25 years.
Without a National Hockey League
franchise since 1993, when the beloved Minnesota
North Stars moved to Dallas; Minnesota, the self
proclaimed “State of Hockey,” waited
seven long years to get their new NHL franchise,
the Minnesota Wild.
The Xcel Energy Center was formally
christened on Sept 29, 2000 with the first Minnesota
Wild home preseason game. On opening night, the
Wild organization retired their first jersey number,
number one, to honor all Minnesota Hockey fans
who are definitely rated number one. The venue
has since hosted all of the Minnesota Wild home
games, a Conference playoff game in 2003, several
Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournaments,
the 2004 NHL All-Star game, the 2002 WCHA Final
Five and the 2002 Frozen Four. The attendance
at the final game of the 2002 Frozen Four was
19,324 and established a new all-time record as
the largest crowd to ever witness a hockey game
in the state of Minnesota.
Along with sporting events, the
“X” also plays host to ice shows,
circuses, family shows, conventions and numerous
concerts. Big name artists, including The Rolling
Stones, The Who, U2, Bob Dylan and many others
have “rocked” the confines of the
center. Boasting fan-friendly seating and a state
of the art acoustic system, there is no better
place to see a game or a concert.