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Xcel Energy Center

St Paul, MN

Home of the Minnesota Wild

4.6

4.8

Xcel Energy Center (map it)
199 W Kellogg Blvd
St Paul, MN 55102


Minnesota Wild website

Xcel Energy Center website

Year Opened: 2000

Capacity: 18,064

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Age Hasn't Cracked the Xcel Energy Center

Open since September 29, 2000, the Xcel Energy Center has been host to many of the State of Hockey's greatest moments in its 15 year history, including a few memorable playoff runs by the Minnesota Wild. The "X," as it's referred to, has hosted 18,000+ rabid hockey fans every game night since its opening, and the experience of enjoying a game there still has not lost its luster. Fifteen years later, the Xcel Energy Center remains one of the premier arenas to enjoy a National Hockey League game.

4.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

One thing that the Xcel Energy Center is always reliable for is high quality food and beverages. From the lower bowl to the club level to the upper deck, there is no lack of quality options for fans to enjoy.

While all arenas have relatively the same food options everywhere you go (it's pretty hard to screw up a brat, or popcorn), the Xcel Energy Center certainly has their fair share of items that make them stand apart from the rest.

The Loon is a brat that is filled with cheese, wild rice and pork, offering a unique look at some staples of Minnesotan cuisine, and there is so much more to enjoy from walking tacos to Philly cheesesteak nachos to the beer cheese bacon burger or a Davanni's Pizza.

All of this is good, but the Xcel also "excels" at providing other places to dine. On the Club level you have the Jack Daniels club and the Carvery, both of which offer items you wouldn't find at your run of the mill concession stand, while the Bud Light Fan Zone offers an array of boneless wings and other, more traditional, fan favorites, and is open two hours prior to game time.

As far as drinks are concerned, you've got your typical availability of Coke products and beer at the concession stands. In addition to this, however, you have booths selling craft beers scattered around the arenas, and stations making cocktails.

There are plenty of options available to you at the Xcel Energy Center, regardless of where you're sitting. The Philly cheesesteak nachos are particularly enjoyable, but regardless of what you like, there's a concession stand for you somewhere within the friendly confines of the "X" and regardless of where you're sitting, if you can't find something to satisfy your cravings with a quick loop through the arena, then nothing is going to satisfy you anyway.

Atmosphere    5

The Wild have really hung their hats on the "Home Ice Advantage" slogan that was borne out of their playoff run a few years ago, and it's quite the apt description of the atmosphere within the Xcel Energy Center. The place is raucous from the word go and it is the same regardless of the team's performance on the ice.

The stadium itself is laid out fairly similar to just about any other hockey arena. The thing that is quite nice about the Xcel Energy Center, however, is there truly is not a bad seat in the house. While the lower bowl seats are on much less of an incline, the upper level travels up more than it does out, giving even the cheap seats a fantastic view of the ice. The recently installed LED scoreboard spans the entire neutral zone, from blue line to blue line and has a massive display that is 19 by 24 feet and shows the arena feed from the game in glorious high definition. In addition to this, there is a massive HD screen out in the concourse by Gate One that shows both the game feed as well as a feed from the NHL Network.

While the addition of the scoreboard has done a lot for the immersion of the game, the stuff going on around the arena helps make it a complete experience. From the zamboni-looking organ to in-game giveaways to the traditions of the "Let's Play Hockey" introduction and the State of Hockey Anthem, there's always something going on around the arena to draw your attention during the down times.

If you want a good seat in the X, you're in luck. Pick a seat and it's almost guaranteed to be a good one. Because of how the arena is laid out, every seat is good, making seat selection an exercise in how close you want to get to the ice.

Neighborhood    5

You just simply can't go wrong with this neighborhood. It's in downtown St. Paul, which provides you numerous options for diversions around the arena.

There are so many places to eat around the Xcel that you could spend hours deliberating where to go. Thankfully, that's why we're here. There are so many restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood that listing them all would be quite tiresome to parse through. Thankfully, there are a few that stand out above the rest. If you're looking for Italian fare, you can't go wrong with either Cossetta's or Pazzaluna -- the former being a bit less spendy and a bit less trendy. Also around the arena are the American Burger Bar, Greatwaters Brewing Company, Wild Tymes, and Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub, all of which are within walking distance and provide a great atmosphere and excellent food.

If you're in town for a few days and looking for something to do around the arena, there are a few good places to look. Directly across the street from the Xcel is the Minnesota Science Museum, which is always a great family option, and just down the street is the Minnesota Children's Museum as well. In addition to that, you have the two buildings that share the lot with the Xcel, Roy Wilkins Auditorium (a great place to see a concert) and the Ordway Theater (a great place to see a play). In addition, right behind the Xcel you also have the George Latimer Central Library, if you want to just have some quiet time to yourself.

The good news for fans is that, given the amount of things to do in downtown St. Paul, there is no lack of places to stay. Within walking distance of the Xcel are the Saint Paul Hotel, a Holiday Inn, as well as a few other less recognizable options. Of the available options, the Holiday Inn will give you everything you need without pricing you out and has the added benefit of being right across the street from the arena.

Fans    4

The thing you have to realize about Minnesota Wild fans is that they, for the most part, know hockey. I mean, they REALLY know hockey. This can take some of the fun out of the game at times, but it can also lead to a very fun experience with fans that not only know the team, but really know the game well.

While you can usually find a seat for the game, by the time the puck drops the stadium is generally full. The seating capacity is a little over 17,000, but its final capacity is about 1,000 people more because of all the standing room seating they've added. Regardless of the opponent, the place is full and is rocking.

Some days are obviously better than others, but the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center is engaged fully and is loud. You'll hear applause if the Wild score a goal, or if they simply kill a penalty and it's easy to remain engaged yourself, with this level of fan around you. The ushers are terrific in making sure that people are not walking up and down the aisles during the action and, for the full experience, make sure you get there before the drop of the puck to hear the "Let's Play Hockey" cheer and stick in your seat between the first and second periods to hear the State of Hockey Anthem.

Access    5

With public transportation near and around the stadium and no lack of parking, the Xcel Energy Center might be one of the easiest stadiums in the Twin Cities to get to.

There are over 10 bus stops within walking distance of the Xcel, as well as a number of bars throughout the Twin Cities that offer shuttles to and from the arena, making the arena quite easy to get to.

Parking can vary, depending on how early you get there, but it ranges from $20 (for the indoor ramp across the street) all the way to free if you're lucky enough to find street parking in the outlying neighborhoods. On the weekends, street parking in the downtown area isn't metered, so there's also a chance that you could find parking on the street. That being said, prepare to spend between $10 and $20 on parking, depending on how close you want to get.

Entry into the arena is secure and easy. The security checkpoints are well labeled with the instructions that you need to follow and ticketing is just as easy.

Despite the congestion of the stadium (18,000+ moving around during intermission isn't always the most pleasant of experiences), moving around the stadium is quite easy. The concourses are large enough that, even when they're packed, it's easy to move around and you rarely get hung up in traffic. The restrooms are clean and easily accessible and there are special areas cordoned off for seating of those with special needs.

Return on Investment    4

It's a professional sporting event, so if you want to go see the Minnesota Wild you're going to pay for it. That being said, there are a lot worse tickets you could be getting for your money.

For two people to go to a game, in the upper deck, you're probably looking at spending at least $70-$80 each on the experience, including food, drink, parking and so on. That being said, even the cheapest of seats will allow you a good view of the ice and even the upper level has very good food options available if you don't want to travel back down to the lower level.

Extras    5

One of the biggest extras that the Xcel Energy Center has is the history contained within. From the murals to the tribute to former Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard to the local hockey jerseys and Hobey Baker Award, the Xcel Energy Center is a shrine to the sport of hockey in Minnesota. The Hockey Lodge not only sells team merchandise, but also game-used items such as sticks, jerseys and gloves and there's enough going on around the arena to keep you entertained. Not only that, the Xcel Energy Center is also one of the leading professional sports arenas when it comes to green energy and sustainability.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Xcel Energy Center may be aging a bit, but it's still one of the best places you can go to see a professional hockey game, let alone a sporting event. Friendly fans, good food and very easy access make this arena second to none.

Excellent History and Customer Service

The two items I liked the most visiting this arena were:

- the proud display of history of hockey in the state of Minnesota (in all levels of the arena and all levels of hockey played in the state)
- the excellent customer service (especially the ticket booth person finding me the perfect seat for me)

Of the hockey arenas I've visited, this is my favorite so far.

by megminard | Dec 21, 2010 03:55 PM

"Wild" Experience

I was there recently and I had a great time revisiting the arena after a 10 plus year hiatus. I'm glad I went back to the State of Hockey. The seating bowl is very initimate compared to many of the new venues that have been built the last 20 years.

I also recommend their customer service. In particular, a young lady named Natalie Kaess, an account executive who arranged to get tickets for me and she had them left for me at will call. If and when you decide to take in the "Wild" experience, contact her I'm sure she'll gladly fulfill your needs and wants.

by Prince | Dec 28, 2011 01:20 PM

Great

I'm not much of a hockey fan myself, but I love going to Wild games. The X is a great arena, with there truely not being a bad seat in the house. Food is always good (I like the $5 garlic cheesebread from Davanni's) and the atmosphere is fun.

Unfortunately, being the self proclaimed state of hockey, tickets are overpriced and hard to get your hands on, so I don't get to go often. I've been to 4 Wild games since the franchise began (2 were pre season; 2 I got free tix). Would love to go more, but so expensive.

by MNGator13 | May 03, 2013 02:26 PM

A great xperience

I was at the arena last night for the Wild game against the Flyers, and I have to say, the experience was awesome. To start, the arena's food was the best out of any professional sports venue I have ever been at. There were concessions stands everywhere you went, and there was a really wide variety of delicacies. I only got one item though, and it was really hard to choose one thing to get. I walked around about half of the lower concourse before I decided to stop at Davanni's. There I got a personal cheese pizza ($9), and it was probably one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth, and it was well worth the price. I also saw mini donuts, bowls of ice cream, and large baskets of chicken tenders while I was searching for something to eat. Everyone will find something to eat at the Xcel.

Next I have to note the arena as having really good seating. I have sat almost everywhere in the arena, and all views are good. The pricing is appropriate for each sightline, but if you're not too picky on seating, I would pick the upper level seating. If you want premier seating, there is a large club level, and obviously lower level seating. Prices for upper level end tickets tend to go from $35-$70, and upper level center tickets usually go for $50-$80. Club tickets on the end usually go for $95-$115, and Club tickets at center ice go for $105-$125. Lower level corner and end tickets go from $80-$110, and lower level center tickets go from $95-$130. On the glass seats are very hard to find, but if you're interested, they usually go for upwards of $300. These are all approximate numbers, but any seat you pick, a Wild game will be an expensive ordeal. I believe it is worth it though. The seats are also padded. For hockey, the fanbase in Minnesota is massive. Demand is really high for tickets. Whenever a Minnesota goal is scored, the building explodes. I, personally, enjoy the arena being really loud. More casual fans may not like it this loud though. It is also cool when Nordy (the Wild mascot) gets down in the stands and plays a really loud drum to the chant "Let's go Wild!". One minor downside to the arena is that there are only two sets of water fountains on the whole lower concourse. I know this because my brother and I walked around the whole concourse in search of them.

So this arena is probably my favorite out of all the arenas I have been to, and that is a pretty big statement. And in this review, I barely scraped the surface of all the cool amenities of this arena. You need to take many trips to experience all of it. In final, this arena is xcellent (yes, I know, more arena puns. :)

by Jefferson McGough | Dec 24, 2014 06:02 PM

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Crowd Reviews

A Wild Time

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

St. Paul, Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the NLL's Minnesota Swarm. It was built in 2000 as the home for the Wild and is part of the Saint Paul RiverCentre, which also houses the Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

Xcellent in Every Way

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

The Xcel Energy Center has been the home of the Minnesota Wild since the team brought the NHL back to the Twin Cities in 2000. The arena was named as the #2 venue in the NHL by Stadium Journey Magazine for 2011, and the 7th best stadium on the overall Top 100.

Besides being the home of the Wild, you can also see the NLL Minnesota Swarm play here from January through May (if they are in the playoffs). Overall, it is a fantastic facility and still is one of the best, more than a decade after opening.

Hands down greatest venue in sports

Total Score: 5.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

Great location, close lodging and an abundance of restaurants/bars. A truly all in one spot for everything. And no fooling on the ability to see and meet players outside the arean. Met Rob Blake and Anze Kopitar at the Herb Brooks statue, several players at The Liffey post game through the years. Awesome experience

Awesome venue in a great setting.

Total Score: 4.86

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

For anyone who gets to go to this arena, you won't be disappointed. Great food options, wide concourses, and lots to do and look at during intermissions. Tickets can be pricey as this is the state of hockey. The food is pricey as well but their top shelf stuff is high quality. The fans are very knowledgeable and usually are approachable and willing to strike up a conversation. There isn't a bad seat in the house and plenty of standing room options as well. I also had the privilege of sitting in the Champions Club. Great food options up there and my favorite... free coffee after the second period.

Outside the stadium, parking is plentiful. Free parking is plentiful after 5PM if you are willing to walk a bit. Most free spots are north and east of the stadium. I would not advise parking on 7th street where all the restaurants and bars are as it will take awhile to get back on the highway. Late 2014, the light rail will be completed which will finally connect the twin cities together as well as the Minnesota Gophers campus. The "7th street experience" is a great area to grab a bite to eat and a beer before or after the game. Any type of restaurant or bar that you can think of is in this district.

Going "Wild"

Total Score: 4.71

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 4

I've been a Wild fan for just over a year now, and I've had nothing but great times at the X. Like many other reviewers say, you cannot find a bad seat at the place. I couldn't agree more. I've sat in all the sides of the arena, and you get a great perspective of the game no matter if you're sitting on one of the sides or ends, even in the upper sections. The food, while pricey, is good for what you pay for. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the arena is the horn that goes off when the Wild first take the ice, score a goal, and win a game. Absolutely nothing compares to hearing that horn in person. It gives me chills every time. Overall, I've had some "Wild" times at the X whether they have won or lost (They've won all 6 games I've been to this season; I must be their lucky charm). With the unforgettable experience I've had every time, this is probably one of my favorite arenas I've been to in my lifetime. Granted, this is my first NHL arena I've been to, but I've heard it's one of the better ones.

Minnesota's Hockey Mecca

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

Hockey has a special place in the hearts of Minnesotans. It is, for all intents and purposes, the state sport. Sure, Minnesota has sports teams that have more history – the Vikings – and have been more successful – the Twins – but the Minnesota Wild hold a special place in the hearts of Minnesotans, and nothing exhibits that more than the mecca they’ve constructed to the sport they hold so dear.

The best

Total Score: 5.00

  • Food & Beverage: 5
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 5
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 5

this is the best arena, that's all I can say.

Xcellent

Total Score: 4.57

  • Food & Beverage: 4
  • Atmosphere 5
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 5
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 5

The review is extremely accurate. One of the best NHL rinks out there. With the green line now stopping nearby, easy to get to from Minneapolis. Tickets a bit pricy but secondary market provides alternatives.

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Local Food & Drink

Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub  (map it!)

258 7th Street West

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 292-9916

http://www.tomreidshockeycitypub.com/

Saint Paul Hotel  (map it!)

350 Market St

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 292-9292

https://www.saintpaulhotel.com/

Wild Tymes  (map it!)

33 W 7th Pl

St Paul, MN 55101

(651) 224-8181

http://www.wildtymes.net/

Great Waters Brewing Company  (map it!)

426 Saint Peter St

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 224-2739

http://www.greatwatersbc.com/

Cossetta  (map it!)

211 7th St W

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 222-3476

http://cossettas.com/

Local Entertainment

Minnesota Science Museum  (map it!)

120 W Kellogg Blvd

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 221-9444

http://www.smm.org/

Minnesota Historical Society  (map it!)

345 W Kellogg Blvd

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 259-3000

http://www.mnhs.org/

Ordway Center for Performing Arts  (map it!)

345 Washington St

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 224-4222

http://www.ordway.org/

Lodging

Holiday Inn St. Paul Downtown  (map it!)

175 W 7th St

St Paul, MN 55102

(651) 225-1515

http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/st-paul/mspal/hoteldetail

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