No longer in debt at the Capitol, St. Paul looks to upgrade Xcel Energy Center


Of the many laws passed and signed this recent Minnesota legislative session, one contained a provision to forgive some $27 million in debt for the city of St. Paul.

Now that Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the bill, KSTP-TV reports, the money will instead be used to give the Xcel Energy Center a makeover.

Channel 5 reports that lawmakers had directed that money to go into the X rather than the state's general fund.

Citing "some" that think the 13-year-old Xcel "outdated," the station says all 18,000 seats will be replaced, and there are hopes for new hi-def scoreboards and ribbon boards. (The Minnesota Wild, in case you're wondering, pay $8 million a year to rent the joint.)

There are also plans for more escalators and expanded gates, but, as the station notes, nothing will be put in motion until next year.

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Xcel Energy Center undergoes first major upgrade

The Minnesota Wild is investing about $1 million to build two-dozen loge boxes at the St. Paul arena, the Business Journal reports. The four-person upscale boxes are priced at about $50,000 per year, compared to $180,000 for a suite. The new premium seating is expected to be ready for the hockey team's first preseason game on Sept. 26.