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Five Things to Know About the Wild's Home Opener

As Minnesota opens its season against Winnipeg at Xcel Energy Center tomorrow, here's what's going on in and around the building

by Devin Lowe /

Hockey is back in St. Paul as the Wild drops the puck at 6 p.m. Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets. Here are five things you should know about Minnesota's home opener at Xcel Energy Center.

1. There will be an outdoor pre-game party, weather permitting, before the game.

Join fellow Wild fans in the Cleveland Circle parking lot on West 7th Street across from Xcel Energy Center for food and fun. The party runs from 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. and will include a DJ, happy-hour pricing, new Wild merchandise, concessions and the two-story Bud Light Mega Bar. Tickets to the home opener are not required for admission to the party. Click here for more pre-game party details. After the game, DJ group the Rowdy Cowboy Show will perform at the Old No. 7 Club on the RBC Wealth Management Club level.

2. Xcel Energy Center underwent significant upgrades during the summer.

Get ready for a much-improved fan experience at the Wild's home rink. The Xcel Energy Center installed a new 1,009-seat bleacher system on the single-attack end with more comfortable chairs and quieter decking as well as a new LED sports lighting system that reduces glare and brightens the ice sheet. 

3. The Wild will hold a pre-game tribute for Jacob Wetterling. 

To show its support for the Wetterling family, Minnesota will wear helmet stickers reading "For Jacob" overlaid on a No. 11 through its first three games. The Wild will also conduct a pre-game tribute to Jacob Wetterling and the character traits he stood for during its home opener tomorrow. Be in your seats by 5:50 p.m. to watch the tribute in full.

4. New Xcel Energy Center food items will also be making their season debut.

There's food fare to satisfy every craving this season, so be sure to explore the concourses to look for hidden gems. Check out Pagoda Express at Section 126 for Chinese cuisine, grab a sandwich or panini at Club 7 or 22, or find your own new favorite entree.

5. All fans in attendance at the home opener will receive a complimentary 2016-17 Wild magnet schedule. 

Never miss a game when you hang this up on your fridge. For the full season promotional schedule, click here

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