The Xcel Energy Center opened in late September of 2000, in the heart of downtown St. Paul on the former site of the Saint Paul Civic Center. Ever since then, it has played host to the Minnesota Wild hockey team as well as scores of arena concerts. The modern, updated companion to the Target Center in Minneapolis, the "X" makes use of greater consideration for hosting live performances, so the design and layout of the arena take acoustics and sight-lines into account. For the most part, those considerations make for a much more enjoyable and better-sounding live concert experience than its counterpart across the river. Some of the biggest names in modern music have played at the Xcel Energy Center, as Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Madonna, Shania Twain, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and countless others have brought their arena-sized live show to the Xcel stage. The venue can hold up to 20,000 fans, depending upon the seating arrangements, with four levels of seating as well as a press level. Vending is available throughout the arena, with every entrance being wheelchair and handicap accessible. The Xcel Center hosts over 150 sporting and entertainment events throughout the year, with 1.7 million guests attending games, concerts, or events during an average year.
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