Also known as “The X,” the Xcel Energy Center is a multiple purpose arena in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It has a somewhat more intimate setting than many other contemporary arenas, as it has a maximum seating capacity of just about 18,000 people. Fans can experience high energy live hockey with Minnesota Wild tickets and the National Lacrosse League’s Minnesota Swarm, in addition to being used for other events throughout its history. The Xcel Energy Center has been open to the public since September of 2000. In 2004, ESPN named the Xcel Energy Center the best overall sports venue in the United States.
The arena is the ideal size for large concerts, and acts such as R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, John Fogerty, Neil Young, Maroon 5, Madonna, Shania Twain, and others have all performed there. In 2008, the Xcel Energy Center played host to the 2008 Republican National Convention, as the Twin Cities were selected as the location and the arena was selected as the venue. The Xcel Energy Center is also the site of the WCHA Final Five, the Minnesota Girl’s High School Volleyball Tournament, High School Wrestling championships, and the Minnesota State High School League volleyball state tournament every year. In both 2002 and 2011, the arena hosted the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four.
The main concourse displays hockey jerseys from every high school in Minnesota. The four corners of the arena feature crows’ nests. One corner is a lighthouse which houses a foghorn which gets sounded when the Minnesota Wild take the ice before NHL home games, whenever the Wild score a goal, and after home games when the Wild win. Another corner has an organ built into a Zamboni, which is played throughout Minnesota Wild games. A third is used for a “Let’s Play Hockey!” announcement just prior to the start of Minnesota Wild games and has areas for other interviews, announcements, and fan contests, and a fourth has an additional stage used for other various purposes.
Getting There and Getting In
Xcel Energy Center is nestled between two major freeways (Interstate 94 and 35E) making it easily accessible from all points of the compass. The arena is located on the corner of W. Kellogg Boulevard and W. 7th Street in the heart of downtown Saint Paul.