Photo of a Minnesota Wild game from the upper level of the Xcel Energy Center.

The Minnesota Wild have signed a lease extension with the Xcel Energy Center and will play at the St. Paul arena through the 2035 NHL season. The news was announced at a media event held at the Xcel Energy Center; St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold were both featured speakers. The team’s previous lease agreement with the Xcel Energy Center was set to expire in 2025.

Under the new lease agreement, the Minnesota Wild’s rent owed to the Xcel Energy Center will fall by more than 50%. Last season, the team paid $9 million in rent to the city of St. Paul. Beginning next season, the Minnesota Wild will only be required to pay $3.5 million in rent each season. The structure of the new lease agreement will still allow the city of St. Paul to pay off the construction bonds that were issued to build the arena back in 2000.

The Minnesota Wild will still oversee the day to day operations of the arena and will pay for all of the future capital improvements. Capital improvements will help keep the Xcel Energy Center up to date and comparable to other NHL arenas in North America without having to build a new venue. The Minnesota Wild will also continue to oversee the operations of the St. Paul RiverCentre as well as the Roy Wilkins Auditorium.

The city of St. Paul approved the lease extension unanimously and boasted about the economic impact the Minnesota Wild continue to have on the city of St. Paul. The Xcel Energy Center currently averages nearly 2 million visitors per year. The Xcel Energy Center is the only professional sports arena in downtown St. Paul. U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings), Target Field (Minnesota Twins), and the Target Center (Minnesota Timberwolves) are all located in downtown Minneapolis.

 

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