Sports Teams of Minnesota
Sports in Minneapolis–Saint Paul includes a number of teams that you can cheer on if you are an avid fan of all things sports. Here’s an interesting factoid, the area serves as home for all the four highest level professional leagues, which are the National Football Association, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey Association, and Major League Baseball. They also serve a team in the highest level of professional sports soccer, the Minnesota United FC.
The Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings arrived in Minnesota in 1961. The Twins were formed when the Washington Senators of the American League relocated to Minnesota and the Vikings were an NFL expansion team. Both teams played outdoors in the open-air Metropolitan Stadium in the suburb of Bloomington for twenty-one years before moving to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis in 1982.
The Twins have won 10 division titles (1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002–04, 2006, 2009, and 2010), 3 American League Pennants (1965, 1987 and 1991) and the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins moved to Target Field in Minneapolis in 2010.
The Vikings have played in four Super Bowls – Super Bowl IV in 1970, Super Bowl VIII in 1974, Super Bowl IX in 1975 and Super Bowl XI in 1977. They moved into U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in 2016.
The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989 after a 29-year absence. The Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles in 1960. The Timberwolves play in the Target Center. Women’s basketball was added in 1999 with the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.
The Minnesota Wild of the NHL began play in 2000 in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. That followed a 7-year drought after the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993.
The Minnesota United FC of MLS currently play at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. In 2019, they will move into their permanent home at Allianz Field in St. Paul. They previously played in the NASL.
The Minnesota Whitecaps, formerly of the Western Women’s Hockey League (WWHL), joined the professional National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) in 2018. The Whitecaps play at TRIA Rink in St. Paul.
Major professional sporting events hosted by the Twin Cities include the 1965, 1985 and 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, the 1965, 1987 and 1991 World Series, 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 and Super Bowl LII in 2018.
On March 25, 2015, Major League Soccer announced that it had awarded its 23rd MLS franchise to Minnesota United FC, a team from the lower-level North American Soccer League. Bill McGuire and his ownership group that includes Jim Pohlad of the Minnesota Twins, Glen Taylor of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Craig Leipold of the Minnesota Wild had intended to build a privately financed soccer-specific stadium in Downtown Minneapolis near the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market, but their plan was met with heavy opposition from Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who claimed that her city was suffering from “stadium fatigue” after building three stadiums, for the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Golden Gophers within a six-year span. On July 1, 2015, after failing to reach an agreement with the city of Minneapolis, McGuire and his partners turned their focus to St. Paul.
On October 23, 2015, Bill McGuire of Minnesota United FC and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced that a privately financed soccer-specific stadium would be built on the vacant Metro Transit Bus Barn site in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood near the intersection of Snelling Avenue and University Avenue. The stadium, Allianz Field, will seat 19,400 and open in 2019. The team began playing in the MLS in 2017.