Minneapolis-St. Paul is one the few select U.S. metropolitan areas that can boast having a professional team in every major sport. In addition to the four major sports, club and college teams provide even more entertainment. Whether you love Major League Baseball, the National Football League, NASCAR racing or professional horse racing, you can watch top athletes compete in venues around the metro area. With so many sporting activities to take in, you will need to stay an extra day!
The 2015 NFC North Division Champion Minnesota Vikings are playing in their brand new home, U.S. Bank Stadium. See this upstart club take on their bitter rivals like the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Enjoy the wonderful atmosphere at U.S. Bank Stadium, which has an outdoor feel because of the glass roof, but also the amenities of an indoor game.
The game-day experience caters to all people, from clubs available to monitor your fantasy football score, to stadium-wide Wi-Fi, to unique Minnesota foods and craft beers. This beautiful new stadium is definitely one of the better venues to see a National Football League game, and will host Super Bowl 52 in February 2018.
From late fall through spring is the time to watch the Minnesota Timberwolves take on their NBA rivals at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Come and witness 2014-2015 rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins and 2015-2016 rookie of the year Karl Anthony Towns take on NBA All-Stars like Lebron James and Anthony Davis as this young upstart team looks to become a serious contender in the not-so-distant future.
Once summer rolls around, the four-time WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx take the court at Target Center. Come and see the WNBA’s best player, Maya Moore, as the Lynx look to defend their WNBA title in 2018.
Also taking place during late fall into spring is NHL hockey at one of the best hockey venues in the world, the Xcel Energy Center. Watch as the Minnesota Wild jockey for playoff position against Western Conference Rivals such as the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues. The Xcel Energy Center is another venue in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that can boast of having terrific food, craft beer and more. Try a brick oven pizza or walleye basket with a local beer and you will not be disappointed.
Make sure to arrive early, and enjoy the warm-up to a local celebrity firing up the crowd with the tradition of chanting “Let’s Play Hockey!”
Springtime brings a sense of renewal to Minnesota, especially in downtown Minneapolis where the Minnesota Twins begin their home schedule in April at Target Field, named one of the top 10 MLB ballparks in the country. The ambiance at Target Field is something to behold, from the terrific sounds of the organists playing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to the sound of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” when Miguel Sano drives a bomb deep to left, to the absolutely gorgeous skyline of Minneapolis in right field. Also sample some of the unique Minnesota fare, including local craft beer, walleye and chips, a bratwurst from Kramaraczuk’s, or a bloody mary adorned with a slice of pizza. Target Field is a destination for any baseball enthusiast, or anyone looking for a family-friendly outing.
Speaking of spectacular places to watch a ballgame, CHS Field in St. Paul’s hip Lowertown neighborhood opened in 2015, and is home to the St. Paul Saints. The Saints have long been known for making their game days all about fun, so families can expect to see fireworks shows, between-inning antics, and a cast of entertaining characters. Also sample terrific local fare, like a Summit Brewery beer, or a burger and malt from Snuffy’s.
Being part of the Big 10 Conference, the University of Minnesota plays against top-level competition in some of the major collegiate sports, including football, basketball, hockey, wrestling, swimming and diving. Enjoy a beautiful autumn day watching football at TCF Bank Stadium, or enjoy the historic virtues of Williams Arena (basketball) or Mariucci Arena (hockey).
The Minnesota United FC are now part of Major League Soccer after being part of the North American Soccer League. They will play their 2017/2018 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. In 2019, their new 20,000+ seat soccer stadium will make its debut in St. Paul. Their season runs from late April through October.
If you've never seen a roller derby bout live, now's the time. The Minnesota RollerGirls consists of four teams, who battle it out at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul. The North Star Roller Girls have a similar multi-team format and compete at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
One the edge of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is Elko Speedway. This 3/8-mile asphalt track is the premier NASCAR track in Minnesota. Come and enjoy the excitement of drivers racing in pursuit of the checkered flag. Elko Speedway’s schedule runs from late spring to early fall.
Horse racing is also a staple of the Minneapolis-St. Paul sports scene. Live racing begins in May at Canterbury Park. This track is home to some of the best thoroughbred horse racing in the Upper Midwest. Another great venue to watch live horse racing is Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus. Running Aces brings a unique perspective to horse racing in the Midwest by being one of the few harness-racing facilities around.