SLAP SHOT YOUR STRESS
Get an insider’s take on where to eat and park before a Wild game
Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images
Step One of seeing a Wild game is complete: You’ve got your tickets. Or maybe not, but at least if you get them in person at the Xcel Energy Center box office, you avoid Ticketmaster fees. Steps Two and Three? Figuring out where to park and fill that void in your stomach before the game hits. Don’t worry—you’ve come to the right blog post.
Parking in downtown St. Paul can be tricky, especially when you have fans aimlessly wandering the streets looking for a pre-game bar spot and drivers make up their own traffic rules. However, we’ve rounded up some of the nearest parking spots, whether they be surface lots or ramps, which can be a little more expensive but nearby and convenient—especially if a layer of frost is creeping its way over the face of thermometers.
Lawson Ramp: A few blocks east of the venue is where you will find the Lawson Ramp, which flaunts reviews of, “God parking ramp,” and, “I always hate parking ramps. This one is normal and safe,” on Google. | 11 W. Fifth St., St. Paul, 55102
RiverCentre Ramp: Located just across the street from the game is the RiverCentere Ramp. And the climate-controlled skyway connecting it to the venue makes getting from the seat of your car to the seat on your ticket | 150 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 55102
Seven Corners Lot: While not a ramp, this 284-space lot is perfectly wedged between the Xcel Energy Center and the Smith Avenue Transit Center. The only thing between your car and the game is two lanes of traffic. | 150 N. Smith Ave., St. Paul 55102
Smith Avenue Transit Center: Found on the other side of the Seven Corners Lot (more on this later a couple paragraphs later), the Smith Avenue Transit Center is another great option if you’re looking to shield your vehicle from as much of the elements as possible while still being a stone’s throw away from all the action. |145 Smith Ave., St. Paul, 55102
Travelers West Plaza Lot: Directly north of the venue—and across only a single road of one-way traffic—this 249-space surface lot is so close to the game that even your car can hear the deafening lighthouse horn and the sultry sounds of Prince when the home team scores. | 165 W. Fifth St., St. Paul, 55102
If you want to avoid the higher costs that come with parking closer to the game, find a spot to park along Metro Transit’s Green Line and let it be your chauffeur between your car and the game. You’ll also have a better chance of avoiding any post-game congestion on your way home.
The downtown streets of St. Paul are loaded with game-day eats worthy of your taste buds, but if you are interested in grabbing a bite to eat at the stadium, here’s a preview of the season’s menu. Wherever you go, you’ll find plenty to fill up on before watching fan-favorite Zach Parise and the rest of the squad take to the ice.
Eagle Street Grille: Just on the other side of Kellogg Boulevard, this American-styled eatery serves as ground zero—expect it to be busy—for hockey fans and concert attendees, and it features a mob-themed menu that gives a tip of the hat to the city’s gangster roots. | 174 W. Seventh St., St. Paul, 55102
Photo by Todd Buchanan
Mickey’s Diner: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, you can eat before, after or even during the game if you want to get crazy—we can’t promise you’ll be allowed game reentry. This downtown St. Paul staple has been serving diner favorites since 1939 and has even made Hollywood appearances in “The Mighty Ducks” series and “Jingle All the Way.” | 36 Seventh St. W., St. Paul, 55102
Pazzaluna: Get your Italian fix with meatballs, gnocchi and pasta, pasta, pasta a short walk away from the game at Pazzaluna. Their award-winning fare keeps hungry fans coming back for more the whole NHL season. | 360 Saint Peter St., St. Paul, 55102
Ruam Mia Thai: As the spot for authentic Thai food in St. Paul, this humble mom-and-pop shop serves up more than 56 mouth-watering menu items including fried rice, pad Thai, gai yaang and more just minutes away from the game. | 475 Saint Peter St., St. Paul, 55102
Sakura: If you find yourself craving Japanese, Sakura has you covered. Just blocks from the game, treat yourself to sushi, tempura, gyoza and more, all complemented by an extensive wine, beer and sake selection. | 350 Saint Peter St., St. Paul, 55102
Now that you know where to park and were to eat, all that’s left to do is enjoy the game—you might even see our wildcat mascot, Nordy, if he’s not skating on the lakes of his hometown near Minnesota’s Iron Range.