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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Wild deliver 'Best NHL Stadium Experience'

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Xcel Energy Center is the “Ultimate Crib” and the Minnesota Wild deliver the “Best Stadium Experience” in the National Hockey League, according to ESPN The Magazine’s “Ultimate Standings 2009” list. The hockey club ranks second overall for “Stadium Experience” in the field of all 122 major league sports franchises among NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB.

This is the first time Xcel Energy Center has been named “Ultimate Crib” and fourth time the Minnesota Wild experience at Xcel Energy Center has been ranked in the top two in the seven years the poll has been conducted. In 2008, it was second only to the Green Bay Packers and in 2007 and 2003, it was voted the No. 1 “Stadium Experience” overall.

“Our fans continue to be the top priority of our organization and it is an honor for the Minnesota Wild and the Xcel Energy Center to be ranked second overall by ESPN The Magazine for best stadium experience,” said Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka.

“We strive to create an exceptional experience for our guests,” said Xcel Energy Center Vice President and General Manager Jack Larson. “It’s gratifying to know people have a great time here and it inspires us to make it even better.”

The criteria set forth by ESPN asked fans to judge "Stadium Experience" based on quality of arena, friendliness of the environment and game-day promotions. More than 50,000 responses were received on The Ultimate Standings appeared in the July 3, 2009, issue of ESPN The Magazine. For the complete methodology, click here.

In addition to serving as the home of the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Swarm National Lacrosse League teams, sports fans also flock to four Minnesota State High School League tournaments and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Final Five tournament that Xcel Energy Center hosts each year. In 2010, Xcel Energy Center will welcome the NCAA Men’s Hockey Regional and in 2011, the NCAA Men’s Frozen Four.

About the Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild recently completed its eighth NHL season after bringing hockey at its highest-level back to Minnesota for the 2000-01 campaign. The Wild claimed its first-ever Northwest Division title in 2007-08, has sold out every home game in franchise history (365 in all), set an NHL record for attendance by an expansion team and created a buzz across “The State of Hockey” with its run to the 2003 Western Conference Finals.

About Xcel Energy Center

Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild, the NLL's Minnesota Swarm and a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events annually. The one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose facility is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, owned by the City of Saint Paul and managed by Saint Paul Arena Company, an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. For more information, visit

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