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Wild, Xcel agree to lease extension through 2035

The Xcel Energy Center opened in 2000. Harrison Barden / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Wild extended their lease with the Xcel Energy Center through 2035 — a decade longer than previously agreed to.

“This is our city, and we’re proud of it,” Wild owner and chairman Craig Leipold said Tuesday during a media event at the Xcel Energy Center to mark the continuation of the partnership. “We are St. Paul. Most of our people live in St. Paul. …We believe in the city.”

The new lease agreement with the city is already underway — it became effective April 8 — but St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter used the opportunity to highlight the economic impact of some 2 million visitors to the X each year, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

“Let’s press on with our work to bring the Stanley Cup to St. Paul,” the mayor said.

Among the benefits of the lease extension for the Wild, their rent to the city will drop by more than half — falling from nearly $9 million per year to just upward of $3.5 million. City officials said the city will not lose money, as those rents pay off the construction bonds that allowed the X to open in September 2000.