A Minnesota Wild Game As Described by Five Prince Songs

My trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota welcomed me with -5 degree weather and why not? When you travel you should travel like a local. This analysis of Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is dedicated to the area’s favorite and most famous local son (may he rest in peace). Below is my visit to a Minnesota Wild game as described by five Prince songs.

Life Can Be So Nice

Have you ever talked to someone that is just a little too nice? It took about 20 minutes in a Lyft to get from downtown Minneapolis to the Minnesota Wild’s Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and by the time we reached our destination I think the driver was ready to adopt us as family members and give us the shirt off his back for warmth. The week was full of frigid temperatures and crappy weather. WHY IS EVERYONE SO HAPPY HERE!?!?

Did you know St. Paul Minnesota was named after a chapel that was established in the area by a Catholic French Canadian minister? Why no I did not overly nice and educational Lyft driver.

Joyful Sound

Walking into the stadium was a bizarre sound experience. I don’t know if it was the acoustics or how the seats are spaced away from the entrance but I literally couldn’t hear any game action in the outside concession area until we stepped up to the tops of the aisles. You usually can hear the crowd, announcers, game action, etc. Not here though. Nothing.

Let’s Go Crazy 

Played after every Minnesota Wild goal. What a city.

Sexy M.F.

During a timeout in the game, the every-popular kiss cam started up on the jumbotron and I counted three out of five men sporting mustaches. Seriously it was like Matt Hamilton appearing over and over again.

EvolSiDog

My food of choice was a bacon wrapped hot dog with coleslaw and Louisiana hot sauce. The dog was delicious with plenty helpings coleslaw. It could have used a little more hot sauce and the bun was unspectacular. It gets an A+ for creativity though.

 

Beer price per ounce

Local Cans: 16 ounces for $11. $0.69 per ounce. (Options: Summit EPA, Surly Furious, Fulton Lonely Blonde, Bent Paddle Golden IPA, Castle Danger Cream Ale, Insight Sunken City Saison)

Michelob Golden Light Draft: 16 ounces for $10. $0.625 per ounce.

What to Eat at Bell Centre – Montreal Canadiens Game

Spoiler alert: It’s Le Hot Dog. The first recommendation uttered out of a local’s mouth when I told them I was attending a Habs game that night was “you have to try the hot dog”. And it did not disappoint (more on that later).

Visiting Montreal is like listening to Prince for the first time. It’s too quirky, too unique, and too awesome not to try it. I keep telling people it’s like visiting another country before stopping myself and saying, “wait you idiot, it is another country”. But the rest of Canada doesn’t feel this way! Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver are fantastic cities but they all remind you of other US cities. Not Montreal. It’s one of a kind.

The official language of Montreal is French with about 60% of population being bi-lingual (thanks Wikipedia). The city literally has too many restaurants which is an incredible problem to have. For every 10,000 people in Montreal, there are 26.81 restaurants to satisfy their hungry souls. For comparison, The New York metropolitan area has 19.57 restaurants per 10,000 people and San Francisco (highest restaurant density in the US) has 21.44. Each year Montreal holds both the largest jazz festival in the world (Montreal International Jazz Festival) and the largest international comedy festival in the world (Just for Laughs Festival).

Montreal-eans (scientific name) love their food, music, comedy, and…their hockey.

Bell Centre is the largest hockey rink in the NHL but it doesn’t matter. I attended a generally meaningless game late in the season on a Thursday night and it felt like it we were in the playoffs. The atmosphere made it the best regular season hockey game that I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to like eight whole hockey games.

The exchange rate is your friend. This meant a $10 CAD beer was actually $7 USD. This meant I drank a lot of them before, during, and after the game. So much so that I’ll be honest – all I really remember is that damn hot dog. Oh, and some meat sandwich that looked amazing after a few beers but one that my stomach rejected faster than driving on Dikembe Mutumbo in the 90’s.

To the food!

Have to Have it

Hot Dog – it’s the bun. The bun adds a sweetness that compliments the delicious god-knows-what meat up top. And it’s simple. No onions, peppers, sauerkraut, etc. Just a dog, mustard and relish and it works.

Hot-Dog-O-Meter: 9.0 out 10. The second best dog I’ve had at a stadium behind only Saag’s at Oakland Collesium.

Try It

Smoked Meat Sandwich – It was OK going down. A little dry but not bad. It was anything but OK coming out the next morning. I’ll leave it at that.