After a fantastic Olympic tournament, it’s time to turn our attention to the homestretch of the Minnesota Wild season. I was fortunate enough to attend the hockey games at the Olympics, and it was one of the best sporting experiences I’ve ever had (despite the unfortunate finish for Team USA).
The skill level at the tournament was amazing, and I was thrilled to see five Wild players represent their countries so well. They should be proud of what they were able to accomplish. I am sure they will never forget the experience.
But now it’s time to turn our attention back to the State of Hockey. This time of year is always a highly entertaining period for hockey fanatics. We’ve got the boys’ and girls’ state high school hockey tournaments, the WCHA Final Five and of course, a 20-game push for the playoffs for our Minnesota Wild.
That brings me to my reason for writing today’s blog. At our next home game on March 7, we’ll be able to say that the Wild has sold out all 400 games played at beautiful Xcel Energy Center. Sunday is a day that has been circled on my calendar for a long time, because 400 sellouts is a remarkable achievement. And the only people that can be credited with that achievement would be the fans, who have been there through thick and thin.
This sellout streak spans 10 years, and puts us in extremely rare company. For as long as attendance records have been kept, only two NHL teams – Colorado and Detroit – have sold out more than 400 consecutive games. The Wild is the only team in the four major sports to have sold out every game in franchise history.
A lot can happen in 10 years, including a very rough economic downturn that has impacted hard-working families all over the country. The fact that people still find the resources to come and support our Wild shows how passionate this state is about hockey, and it reinforces my feelings of just how fortunate I am to be a part of this.
I want to thank all of the fans that have made this remarkable streak possible. The retired “#1” jersey that hangs from the rafters couldn’t be more deserved, but we’re looking for more. We are going to keep striving towards taking care of our fans, and winning games. I know that eventually we will hang a Stanley Cup banner alongside that big #1.
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