Every major sports league is represented in Minnesota—and they all call the Twin Cities home.
Image by Todd Buchanan/Greenspring Media
Minnesota is one of a handful of states in the country to have five major professional sports teams, so it’s easy to be loud and proud when it comes to state pride. Fans have even more reason to get riled up over the major sporting events coming to the Twin Cities, including the next two summer X Games in 2017 and 2018, Super Bowl LII in 2018 and March Madness Final Four in 2019. With Target Center, Target Field, the Xcel Energy Center, CHS Field, Mariucci and Williams Arenas, TCF Bank Stadium and now U.S. Bank Stadium, there is a spot in the stands for every sports fan.
Chants will be heard around the state as fans pour into the most recent addition to the Minneapolis skyline, U.S. Bank Stadium, for Super Bowl LII. Opened July 2016, the stadium features two of the largest and highest-quality HD video boards in the NFL, 95-foot-high pivoting glass doors that open toward downtown Minneapolis and much more. With a roster full of young talent and well-seasoned players, Vikings fans look forward to a great season in their new home.
If college sports are more your style, the teams at the University of Minnesota will make you leap out of your seat with excitement. Home to the Golden Gophers football team, TCF Bank Stadium opened in 2009, and the Minnesota Vikings even made a few appearances as they eagerly awaited their new digs. The women’s hockey team also makes headlines, as they’ve won the Frozen Four four times in the past six years, and have won their conference tournament eight times. Men’s hockey competes in the newly formed Big Ten Conference and has reached the Frozen Four 21 times, winning five NCAA tournament championships.
In the State of Hockey, fans are truly dedicated to their favorite sport. Sports Illustrated even named St. Paul “Hockeytown, USA”—and for good reason. The beloved “Miracle on Ice” movie documented our escapades as we staged the greatest upset in hockey history against Russia in the 1980 Olympics. Thirteen out of 20 players on that legendary team were born in this great state, and coach and St. Paul native Herb Brooks has become a Minnesota superhero. It was no surprise that fans were devastated when the North Stars left for Dallas in the ’90s, but any bitter feelings were forgotten when the Minnesota Wild hit the ice in 2000. The Wild have amassed a loyal and rambunctious audience, as the team often plays in front of sold-out crowds at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.
Target Center is home to our WNBA superstar team, the Minnesota Lynx, who have won three WNBA Championship titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015. The team shares the facility with the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose current star, Karl-Anthony Towns, has taken over the spotlight of the team after Kevin Garnett closed out his 21-season NBA career fighting for the Timberwolves in 2016. A $129 million renovation project, set to finish in late fall 2017, will enhance the fan experience at Target Center with additional gathering spaces and improved traffic flow.
Baseball fans rejoice when the Twins take to Target Field in the spring and summer months. The ballpark earned the title of No. 1 sports stadium by ESPN when it opened in 2010 and continues to knock expectations out of the park. You won’t find a bad seat in the entire stadium with about 18,500 infield seats and more than 39,000 overall. And the food goes well beyond peanuts and Cracker Jacks here, with local brews on draft and favorite hometown eats served.
And if you just can’t get enough of Minnesota baseball, head to see our minor league team, the St. Paul Saints, at CHS Field in Lowertown St. Paul. Co-owner Bill Murray has infused his sense of humor into the team with silly spectacles between innings and humorous antics from the announcers. Enjoy local eats and drinks or get involved in the action between innings during on-field shenanigans such as sumo wrestling, trivia, tire races and more.
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There are several facilities on the university’s campus perfect for sporting events. TCF Bank Stadium, the first LEED-certified football facility in the country at both the collegiate and professional level, seats almost 60,000 and features a range of meeting and event spaces.
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