Minneapolis Sports and Recreation
If you are looking for a game, you won’t have to look far in the Twin Cities. The area offers 3 major sports facilities, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, the Target Center, and the Xcel Energy Center. Locals can be fanatical when it comes to their favorite sports teams. With the Twins making a run for the World Series in 2006 and the Wild making a historic hockey comeback the last couple of years, new comers will quickly join the crowd, cheering on their favorite team. What sport do you enjoy? Most likely, Minnesota has it!
The Minnesota Twins currently play in the Metrodome, but that will soon change. With the popularity of the game rising, the Twins will be getting a brand-new outdoor stadium, due for completion in 2010. The grass playing field will host on average about 80 games per year so there is plenty of opportunities to catch a game. It will also be located just north of the Target Center.
If you prefer the excitement of the minor league, check out the St. Paul Saints. Their games are played at the Municipal Stadium in St Paul’s Midway. Kids love to attend as they provide great entertainment, including fat-suit races, a pig mascot, lots of giveaways, and affordable tickets, food, and drink.
If you are in the mood for some hoops, the Target Center is host of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. The women’s league, Minnesota Lynx, also plays at the Center
You will soon learn once football season arrives, not to put down the Minnesota Vikings. Locals love their team and will defend them to the dire end. Just make sure you never mention that you are from Wisconsin or that you love the Green Bay Packers. There might be a little rumble over the “cheese heads” versus “viking horns”.
Hockey is so popular in the state of Minnesota I am devoting a separate page just on the sport. If you want to catch a NHL game, the Minnesota Wild drop the puck at the Xcel Center in downtown St Paul. The US Hockey Hall of Fame is also located in Eveleth, Minnesota, but the last I heard is currently closed to the public while they determine its future location.
Lacrosse and Soccer
Two other professional sports are available in the Twin Cities. They are the National Lacrosse League Minnesota Swarm,who play indoors at the Xcel Center December through April, and the Minnesota Thunder who play at James Griffin Stadium
By far the biggest draw for college entertainment is the Minnesota Golden Gophers.Hockey and basketball are the biggest draw as the football team has not had the best seasons these last few years. Actually, the 2007 season will see a new football coach. Time will tell if he is any good. Years ago the Gophers stadium was torn down and never rebuilt, so all games have been played in the Metrodome (except hockey). Finally, in 2009, Minnesota will once again have its own sports complex. Just make sure to bring your coat in the late fall or early spring as it will be an open stadium and sure to be a little chilly!
Recreation for Everyone
Golfing in Minneapolis
The Minneapolis area is proud to boast more than 135 public and private golf courses in the local area. With 30% of the population playing golf, you will never have a hard time getting a tee time or finding a someone to play with. The city has diverse courses for all levels of play including the private Jack Nicklaus designed course at Bearpath in Eden Prairie to the championship public course, The Wilds in Prior Lake, designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. Another recent addition in Blaine is the Deacon’s Walk. It was designed by Arnold Palmer and it is owned and operated by the PGA Tour.
If you are staying in the immediate Minneapolis area and want to pick up a quick game, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board operates seven golf courses for your enjoyment. 18-hole courses include Columbia, Gross, Hiawatha, Meadowbrook and Wirth. Fort Snellinghas a 9-hole course and Wirth has a 9 hole par 3-hole course.
Some good websites to visit for tee times and locations:
Believe is or not but you can also play snow golf in the winter, only in Minnesota. Contact the Breezy Point Resortnear Brainard for more information.
Fishing and Hunting
Welcome to the hunting and fishing capital of the world! Residents love the sports so much that they will drop everything to spend a day on a lake. Spring and fall opening day are like national holidays!
Ice Fishing – Winter fishing is truly a site to see. Fisherman drill holes into the ice, drop the special ice fishing rod line down, and wait. Once the lake ice becomes multiple inches thick, ice houses start to dot the landscape of most major lakes. An Ice House is a small building, usually outfitted with stoves, seating, and sometime sleeping quarters, and is used to protect a fisherman from the elements as he sits back and waits for the big bass to come along. Most ice houses are homemade and can be pulled behind a truck, but you can also purchase them for a “small” fee or rent them from various lakes. A couple places you can rent from are Pike Dreams and Lake Mille Lacs.
Fishing – As the state with 10,000 lakes, there is no lack of places to fish. Many lakes are stocked with walleye, bass, croppies, and bluegill. Some ideal locations are Lake Minnetonka, Lake Elmo, Lake Waconia, the Mississippi River. If you want to travel away from the Twin Cities, Lake of the Woods is called “Walleye Capital of the World”.(Go to the DNR website for more information of water conditions, proper food consumption, and lake sites)
**Licensing is Required** -Don’t forget that to participate in any fishing or hunting activity, you must purchase a license through the Department of Natural Resources(DNR). If you are not able to get online as you are heading out, there is the option of buying in person from a state licensing agent. They can be found in bait shops, marinas, sporting good stores, or visit the DNR online for a list of availabe agents in Minnesota.