Xcel Energy Center is a sports arena in Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S. sponsored by Xcel Energy. It is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild and the NLL's Minnesota Swarm. It is owned by the city of Saint Paul and operated by Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, owners of the Wild and Swarm. Colloquially, it is also referred to as "The X."
The arena contains four spectator levels: one suite level, and three general seating levels named the 100 level, the club level, and the 200 level. Its official capacity is 18,064.
The councourse areas contain a hockey jersey from every high school in Minnesota hanging on the wall, reflecting the "State of Hockey." Surrounding the arena at all four corners are "crows nests." One features an organ built into the shell of a Zamboni machine and is played during Wild games. A second nest features a lighthouse that contains a foghorn that is blasted before faceoff, for Wild goals and after a win. The third is used for the announcement before every Wild game; "Lets play hockey!" and the fourth is for multipurpose.
- February 8, 2004: the NHL All-Star Game set a record for attendance at a hockey game in Minnesota at 19,434
- The record attendance for a Wild game was set October 5, 2005 at 19,398, the first game after the lockout season.
- On October 28, 2003, Shania Twain set Xcel Energy Center's single-night concert attendance record of 20,554.
- On March 17, 2007, 19,463 spectators watched the final game of the WCHA Final Five tournament, the largest crowd ever for an indoor United States College Ice Hockey Game(i.e. not including games held in football stadiums such as the Cold War).
- Since opening the doors of the Xcel Energy Center on September 29, 2000, the Wild have had a sellout for every single game (totaling over 300 consecutive games as of December 8, 2007).
The Xcel Energy Center opened in the fall of 2000. A member of the arena's marketing team was quoted in the Minneapolis StarTribune
newspaper as saying "We hope that fans will call it 'The X'." It was built on the site of the demolished St. Paul Civic Center
. In 2004, the arena was named by ESPN as the best overall sports venue in the United States.
The 10 millionth person passed through the gates on July 3, 2007 to see The Police Reunion Tour seven years after the building first opened.
On June 3, 2008, Senator Barack Obama gave his first speech as the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. Over 17,000 people attended the event with an additional 15,000 watching on big screens directly outside the arena.
The arena was also the venue for the 2008 Republican National Convention.
The "X" is the current site of the WCHA Final Five, Minnesota Boys' High School Hockey
, the Minnesota Girl's High School Volleyball Tournament, and the High School Wrestling tournaments, as well as the host of the Minnesota State High School League
-sponsored volleyball state tournament. It hosted the 2002 NCAA Frozen Four
and will do so again in 2011. The National Lacrosse League
's Minnesota Swarm
began regular season play in the arena in January