Minnesota Wild’s Xcel Energy Center Named Best Arena Experience in NHL


May 7, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Fans gather outside the Xcel Energy Center prior to game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In a shocking move—unless you’re a Wild fan—Stadium Journey Magazine has ranked Minnesota’s home rink as the top arena experience in the National Hockey League in 2013.

Here’s what the magazine had to say about their experience in the State of Hockey:

"The fans know the game and appreciate the little things, such as clearing the puck on the penalty kill, or a good defensive play to prevent a scoring chance. That is what gives the Xcel a truly special atmosphere and, even though the initial luster of having the NHL back in Minnesota has worn off, there is still a buzz around the building."

Considering the audience’s knack of yelling “shoot!” on the power play when there are no shooting lanes, I can only assume Minnesota had no man advantage opportunities during the magazine representative’s  visit. Other than that, I have to say I agree whole-heartedly with the statement above.

Being one of the 19,238 people in attendance on May 5th at Minnesota’s Game Three overtime victory over the Blackhawks, there was certainly something very special about singing along with fellow fans to the Wild anthem at the end of the game.  And who didn’t have goose bumps when Jack Jablonski wheeled out on the ice with the State of Hockey flag before the game? Yes, there’s something very special about the atmosphere of the Xcel Energy Center during hockey season.