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Xcel Energy Center sweetens gift offerings for concert headliners

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With some top musical performers frequenting the venue more often, Xcel Energy Center has decided to get more creative with its gift offerings, the Pioneer Press reports.

In the past, artists headlining Xcel used to receive a custom hockey jersey or stick, following a tradition concert venues practice around the country.

Taylor Swift received a personalized hockey stick the last time she visited Xcel in 2011, but her bounty will be different this time around when she plays the venue Saturday and Sunday.

That's because Xcel has taken to giving the likes of Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Beyonce unique gifts to set themselves apart from other arenas, Kelly McGrath, the director of sales and marketing at the venue, tells the paper.

During her last stop in St. Paul, Madonna received from Xcel luggage emblazoned with her "MDNA" logo, and Dylan was given a custom guitar strap. Beyonce received a "whole basket of things," McGrath says, including a bedazzled jersey for her daughter.

The center pulled out all the stops for Springsteen. After working with the city of St. Paul to temporarily rename Xcel's cross streets "Springsteen Road" and "E Street" and creating replica street signs for fans to pose with, the signs were framed and presented to the band.

In addition, the city declared it "Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Weekend" during the time the rock 'n' roll legend played Xcel.

Xcel is already at work creating unique gifts for September's full slate of concert performers.

McGrath says Mumford & Sons, who are playing the venue Wednesday night, will receive custom backpacks from Duluth Pack, while Nine Inch Nails' front man Trent Reznor will get a modified guitar outfitted with a USB connection.

As for country-crossover star Swift, McGrath says she'll stroll away from her Xcel gigs with a new pair of cowboy boots.

McGrath tells the Pioneer Press that Xcel is "inviting people to come to Minnesota and to play our building, we want them to leave with a good memory."

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