Minnesota Sports: Cheer for the Home Team

By Erica Wacker

Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium
Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium / Photo by Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is one of the select U.S. states that has a professional team in every major sport. In addition to the big guys, club and college teams provide even more entertainment. Whether you love NBA basketball, NCAA hockey or roller derby, you can watch top athletes compete at venues around the state.

Professional Sports

Minnesota Twins playing at Target Field in Minneapolis
Minnesota Twins playing at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis / Photo by Lane Pelovsky

In the fall and winter, Minnesota has three home teams to root for. The Minnesota Vikings moved into their new NFL stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, in 2016, which in addition to hosting home Vikings games is the site of the 2019 Summer X Games, 2019 NCAA Final Four, and big-name concerts in the offseason.

At Target Center in downtown Minneapolis, the Minnesota Timberwolves take the court against their NBA rivals. Single-game tickets start as low as $11, and packages including food as well as kids days make going to a game fun for the whole family. In the summer, the Minnesota Lynx WNBA team plays here; they won the championship in 2017, 2015, 2013 and 2011.

The Minnesota Wild play NHL hockey at Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Hockey is a time-honored tradition in Minnesota, and fans are passionate about their team. Get to the arena early for happy hour, which includes drink specials before every home game.

Come spring, it’s time to play ball—baseball, that is. The beloved Minnesota Twins play outdoors at Target Field, regularly named one of the top 10 MLB stadiums in the country. Take in the views of the Minneapolis skyline and sample some of the unique fare, including local craft beers, walleye and chips, and a bloody mary that in past years has been adorned with a slider or a slice of pizza.

The Minnesota United FC play Major League Soccer at Allianz Field in Midway St. Paul. Minnesota was without a top-division soccer team for almost 40 years, and to say the United joining MLS in 2017 was exciting is an understatement on par with saying Minnesota has "a couple decent lakes" or that the Mississippi River is "a bit long, come to think of it."

College Teams

Cheer for Bemidji State Hockey at the Sanford Center arena
Cheer for the Bemidji State Beavers at the Sanford Center arena

Minnesota is home to colleges of all sizes, many of which have student athletes competing in everything from volleyball to gymnastics. The University of Minnesota is part of the Big 10 Conference, with major sports including Gopher football, basketball, hockey, wrestling, and swimming and diving. Other campuses in the U of M system that have intercollegiate teams include Duluth (Bulldogs), Crookston (Golden Eagles) and Morris (Cougars).

The Minnesota State Universities are also known for their athletics. Teams include the Winona State Warriors, Bemidji State Beavers, St. Cloud State Huskies, Minnesota State Mavericks (in Mankato) and MSUM Dragons (in Moorhead). Private schools get in on the action, too, with big rivalries between St. Thomas, St. John's, St. Olaf and others in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Club & Other Leagues

CHS Field St. Paul Saints
Cheer on the St. Paul Saints at their downtown ballpark, CHS Field

CHS Field opened in 2015 in St. Paul’s hip Lowertown neighborhood as the new home of the St. Paul Saints, bringing a taste of the majors to this minor league franchise. Tickets start at $5, and game days are all about fun: Look for fireworks shows, between-inning antics, and a cast of entertaining characters. Other club baseball teams include the Duluth Huskies, Rochester Honkers and Mankato MoonDogs.

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 multiteam format and compete at the Minneapolis Convention Center. There are also active leagues in Fargo-Moorhead, Duluth, Bemidji, Rochester and more. The Minnesota Wind Chill are a professional ultimate frisbee team based in St. Paul.

Learn more about Minnesota sports teams, and find upcoming sporting events throughout the state.