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Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Arena for the 2008 Republican National Convention

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Xcel Energy Center hosts more than 150 sporting and entertainment events each year and is the site of the 2008 Republican Convention. Find facts below.
Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota hosts more than 150 sporting and entertainment events each year

Photo © Sean Smuda
Built on the site of the demolished St. Paul Civic Center, Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota was widely praised for its high-tech facilities. The ESPN television network twice named Xcel Energy Center the "Best Stadium Experience" in the United States. In 2006, both SportsBusiness Journal and Sports Illustrated called Xcel Energy Center the "Best NHL Arena."

About Xcel Energy Center

Opened: September 29, 2000
Designer: HOK Sport
Levels: Four separate concourses on four seating levels, plus the Al Shaver Press Box on the fifth level
Seating Capacity: 18,064
Technology: Electronic display system with a 360-degree video ribbon board and an eight-sided, 50,000-pound scoreboard
Other Facilities: 74 executive suites, upscale food and beverage restaurants, and a retail store
Home Teams:
  • Minnesota Wild, NHL
  • Minnesota Swarm, NLL
Historic Events:
  • 2008 Republican National Convention
  • 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
  • 2006 U.S. Gymnastics National Championships
  • 2004 International Ice Hockey Federation World Cup of Hockey
  • 2004 NHL All-Star Weekend
  • 2002 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four

Xcel Energy Center Makes History

Xcel Energy Center was the site of two important political events during the 2008 election year. On June 3, 2008, Senator Barack Obama gave his first speech as the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party from Xcel Energy Center. More than 17,000 people attended the event, and additional 15,000 watched on big screens outside Xcel Energy Center. An even larger crowd is expected for the Republican National Convention, September 1-4, 2008.

Republican National Convention at Xcel Energy Center

The Republican National Convention is the largest event ever held at Xcel Energy Center. Construction crews for the RNC and media outlets spent six weeks preparing Xcel Energy Center for the convention. Renovations included:

  • Removed 3,000 seats
  • Constructed workspace for staff and media
  • Transformed each luxury suite into a studio for media networks
  • Installed miles of phone and Internet cables
  • Across the street from Xcel Energy Center, constructed a 3-story white barn for the Fox News Channel
At the conclusion of the convention, workers will have two weeks to return Xcel Energy Center to its original configuration.

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