Reporting Rachel Slavik
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The end of the NHL lockout isn’t official, but planning for the season is already underway at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Minnesota Wild are back on the ice Monday. The team wasn’t allowed into the Xcel Center during the lockout and had to use different rinks around the metro.
For fans, wearing the number of their favorite player is the next best thing to seeing the Wild in action. David Robbins was shopping for a new jersey in The Hockey Lodge.
“Parise jersey – I said I wasn’t going to buy it until the lockout was over, and it’s over,” Robbins said.
Prepping for the upcoming season isn’t just about what’s available on store shelves. Fans like Kyle Walker are also thinking about ticket availability.
“I’m going to be part of those people fighting for those tickets for sure,” Walker said.
The Wild won’t give specifics on the number of season ticket holders this year, but early on they said it’s comparable to the inaugural years when sales reached around 16,500.
With seating at just over 18,000, that still leaves more than a thousand seats open for single game tickets. The Wild said fans will have a chance to buy the single tickets.
“I know some teams will sell more tickets than others. Like I said, I just want to go in. I don’t really care who they’re playing,” said Walker.
The Wild don’t have specifics on the game schedule for ticket holders who didn’t buy a full season. Those who bought 10 packs, for example, will get their money’s worth, according to the team. The games they’ll attend won’t be known until the schedule is set.
“When there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m just excited to see hockey again,” Robbins said.
Those who bought a full season will be credited the difference of a shorter season. The Wild said only 10 percent of fans asked for a refund on their season tickets during the lockout.