Name Change Reportedly on the Way for Xcel Energy Center

Xcel Energy Center
Harrison Barden-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild are in something of a transition period, following a sixth place finish in the NHL Central Division last year, which included an in-season coaching change. Dean Evason was fired and President of Hockey Operations Bill Guerin hired John Hynes to replace him.

On the ice, the MN Wild need more talent but their best prospects aren’t ready and they do not have the salary cap space for any significant moves this summer, thanks to one more year of $14.7 million Ryan Suter + Zach Parise cap penalties.

In other words, this organization would love to fast-forward one year from today. 2025-26 is the season that everyone has circled in the Minnesota Wild organization. Those buyout penalties finally fall off the books and it feels like a new Minnesota Wild will emerge from the tunnels of Xcel Energy Center…. or maybe not?

No more Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Wild

Since their inception in 2000, the Minnesota Wild have played at the Xcel Energy Center, or ‘The X’ for short. But according to Charley Walters (Pioneer Press), that won’t be the case for long. Next season, Shooter reports, “look for Xcel Energy Center to have a new naming rights sponsor”.

“Look for Xcel Energy Center, home of the Wild, to have a new naming rights sponsor after the next NHL season. The arena has had Xcel Energy, worth about $3 million per year over 25 years for the Wild, as its title sponsor. One company is said to already have made an offer to the Wild, which operates the arena, and a handful of other firms are seriously interested.”

Charley Walters – Pioneer Press

If next season is indeed the last year of the “Xcel Energy Center” arena name, it will be the end of quite an era in St. Paul. And I expect it would be hard to replicate such a perfect building name (or nickname) than what they have now… not that they care as much about that as they do making more money. But fans do.

If you’re going to allow a new corporate sponsor the opportunity to rename an arena, doing so for one that has a catchy moniker is tough. The Minnesota Wild have called “The X” their home for so long, that suggesting it as the “Xcel Energy Center” almost feels forced.

Xcel Energy Center
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

As the upcoming season gets underway, and ultimately draws towards as close, fans may start to hear actual naming rights suitors start to trickle out to the public, especially given that Charley says the Wild have already received at least one offer.

Owner Craig Leipold is also speaking with government officials on funding for a very large renovation to The X… or whatever it will be called after next season. The times, they are a changin. Definitely a songline written for arena name changes in the mid 2020s.

It would be nice if the Minnesota Wild get this arena name change right

For years the Milwaukee Brewers played at Miller Park, and following a name change to American Family Field, the AmFam Field nickname has been pushed towards fans. It’s a hard change to get used to, and some will likely never stop calling the home what it had always been known as.

These facilities aren’t changing in any drastic way, and signage is more important to those getting paid through the corporate sponsorship deals. Target already has naming rights on two of the Twin Cities stadiums, with U.S. Bank being plastered on the home of the Minnesota Vikings.

Related: Minnesota Wild Nervous that Kirill Kaprizov Will Leave

Allianz represents the Minnesota United Football Club, and Huntington Bank is home of the Minnesota Gophers. The Minneapolis metro area is home to multiple large corporations and any number of them could conceivably be interested. How catchy the new name will be remains a mystery for now.

This is a venue used for so many different events outside of just hockey, which is why the MN Wild need to get this right. Rumor has it a new arena name may not be the only changes coming in 2026. They may or may not be swapping color schemes as well…

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