It’s well-known that Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and home to some of the toughest winters in the continental U.S, but with those things also comes another designation – the “State of Hockey”.
The love of hockey starts early in Minnesota with kids participating in youth hockey leagues and parents cheering them on rink-side. The enthusiasm for the sport continues well into high school. Every March, the Xcel Energy Center hosts a tournament for Minnesota boy’s high school hockey, which pulls in astonishing attendance numbers from all over state. Minnesota is also home to 5 Division 1 hockey teams and has churned out the most American-born NHL players in the entire country. To really celebrate the sport, the state even has “hockey day” which features high school, collegiate, and pro teams facing off on outdoor rinks every year.
Helping to fuel the hockey hysteria is the Minnesota Wild, the state’s NHL team. The team had its first season in 2000-2001 after the departure of the North Stars in 1993, a controversy that many locals are still bitter about. The Wild play at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul and manage to play for a packed arena night after night – the team has some of the highest attendance numbers in the entire league.
Plan Your Visit to a Minnesota Wild Game
If you’re in town during hockey season, catching a game at Xcel Energy Center is a not-to-be-missed experience. The Wild have a passionate fan base and the energy in the arena is electric. To find out when the Wild are at home, check out the 2018 – 2019 season schedule. Tickets sellout fast but you can keep checking in to see if tickets become available closer to a specific game.
Conveniently located in downtown St. Paul at 199 W Kellogg Blvd, the Xcel Energy Center is accessible via car, bus or light rail, or the pedestrian St. Paul Skyway. Be sure to plan ahead, parking can fill up so consider alternate travel options when you can.
Hotels Near Xcel Energy Center
Getting to Wild games is easy when you stay at one of our downtown St. Paul hotels. The new Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown St. Paul is conveniently located across the street from Xcel Energy Center and offers modern rooms along with free hot breakfast each morning. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St Paul Downtown will welcome you with a freshly baked DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie upon your arrival and connected to the St. Paul Skyway, the hotel is just minutes from Xcel Energy Center. Less than a mile from the arena is Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Paul Downtown, which offers the comfort of spacious two-room suites and free made-to-order breakfast. Plus, take advantage of the hotel’s “Wild for Hockey” package during the 2018-2019 season, which includes transportation for 2 people to the game along with a $25 gift card to Cork’s Pub.
If you’re looking to stay just outside of downtown St. Paul, check out the newly renovated DoubleTree by Hilton St. Paul East, conveniently located near the 3M campus with easy access to the arena for an easy transition from work to play. If you’re looking to explore other parts of the Twin Cities, check out other nearby hotels in the Minneapolis, Bloomington, and surrounding suburb areas. No matter where you choose to stay, don’t miss out on learning how Minnesota lives up to its “State of Hockey” title.
Photo credits: Visit St. Paul