The Twin Cities and Rochester have a number of professional and amateur sports teams that provide year-round entertainment. You don't even have to be a sports fan to enjoy watching these exciting teams.
If Minnesota had an official sport, it would be hockey. The state's entry in the NHL is relatively new, having entered the league in 2000, but it took only two years for the Wild to make their first playoff appearance and they subsequently won the division championship in the 2007-2008 season. Last year the Wild used "Let's Go Crazy" as their goal song during the playoffs as a tribute to the late musical icon and Minnesota native Prince, and after a fan vote the song became a permanent fixture.
The beloved "Vikes" have a long and storied tradition in the NFL, having made playoff appearances in half of their 55 years. Their accomplishments include 19 division titles and four conference championships, and the Vikings won the last league championship before the 1970 merger with the AFL. The team's fearsome defensive line of the 60s and 70s known as the "Purple People Eaters" still enjoys iconic status in NFL lore.
If you're looking for a lot of family fun for a little bit of money, check out the Rochester Honkers, who play at Mayo Field. The Honkers are an amateur baseball team in the Northwoods League, which is a summer league for college players, and they are five-time champs. Current Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier is one of the players who has passed through Rochester.
Did you know that MLB Hall of Famer Dave Winfield was also a star player for the University of Minnesota's men's basketball team? The Golden Gophers are a member of the elite Big Ten Conference in Division I. Current head coach Richard Pitino, son of coaching legend Rick Pitino, led the Golden Gophers to an NIT championship during his first year and the team is off to an impressive 13-2 start this season.
A Saints game is more than just baseball; it's an event. After all, comedian and baseball enthusiast Bill Murray is a minority owner with the title of "Team Psychologist" and special advisor Mike Veeck is the son of Bill Veeck, a consummate showman and Hall of Fame owner of several MLB teams. Following his philosophy that "Fun is Good," Veeck is known for antics like having a "ball pig" deliver balls to the umpires and hiring mimes to perform instant replays.
In 2017, major league soccer comes back to the Twin Cities. Minnesota United FC will take the field at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday, March 12 to face Atlanta. The event marks the local reunion of Christian Ramirez and Miguel Ibarra, soccer stars and former teammates on the team's previous incarnation in the North American Soccer League.
Did we leave your favorite team off the list? Tell us in the comments!