|Former names||Metropolitan Sports Center (1967-1982)|
|Location||7901 Cedar Avenue South|
Bloomington, Minnesota 55420
|Owner||Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission|
|Operator||Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission|
15,000 (ice hockey)
|Broke ground||October 3, 1966|
|Opened||October 21, 1967|
|Closed||April 13, 1993|
|Demolished||December 13, 1994|
|Construction cost||$5.8 million|
($44.5 million in 2019 dollars)
|Architect||Pattee Architects, Inc.|
|Structural engineer||K.M. Clark Engineering Co.|
|Services engineer||Brush & Morrow|
|General contractor||McNulty Construction Company.|
|Minnesota North Stars (NHL) (1967-1993)|
Minnesota Muskies (ABA) (1967-1968)
Minnesota Pipers (ABA) (1968-1969)
Minnesota Buckskins (WTT) (1974)
Minnesota Fillies (WBL) (1978-1980)
Minnesota Kicks (NASL) (1979-1981)
Minnesota Strikers (MISL) (1984-1988)
The Met Center was an indoor arena that stood in Bloomington, Minnesota, United States, a suburb of Minneapolis. The arena, which was completed in 1967 by Minnesota Ice, just to the north of Metropolitan Stadium, seated 15,000. It was the home of the Minnesota North Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1967 to 1993. For its first 15 years, its official name was the Metropolitan Sports Center; the more familiar shorter name was adopted in 1982.
The Met's other tenants included the ABA's Minnesota Muskies, which played just one season before moving to Miami for the 1968-69 season. The league responded by moving the defending champion Pittsburgh Pipers to Bloomington, but the Pipers left to return to Pittsburgh after the season. The NASL's Minnesota Kicks played two indoor seasons at the Met from 1979 to 1981. The Minnesota Strikers of the Major Soccer League (MISL) played indoor soccer at the Met Center from 1984 to 1988. The Boys' High School Hockey Tournament was also held there from 1969 to 1975.
The arena also held entertainment-related shows, including the first performance of Sesame Street Live in September 1980.
The Met Center was considered to be one of the finest arenas in the NHL for many years. Among NHL players, the Met was known for its fast ice and good lighting. Players also had much praise for the locker rooms and training facilities. Fans gave the arena's sightlines very high marks as well. The Met never boasted fancy amenities, and had cramped concourses and very few frills compared to modern arenas (though some luxury suites were added in the 1980s). As a sports facility, it could best be described as utilitarian, a theme which repeated itself in most Minnesota sports facilities built before 1988 (such as Metropolitan Stadium and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome). Like the Metrodome, the Met Center was heavily utilized as a Minnesota sports venue, hosting various high school hockey and basketball events over the course of its lifetime.
After the North Stars moved to Dallas, Texas in 1993 and became the Dallas Stars, the Met Center was demolished on December 13, 1994 in a series of three controlled implosions. The series of implosions was required after the initial detonation (which was intended to be the only one) failed spectacularly to bring down the building on live television. The NHL returned to Minnesota in 2000 when the expansion Minnesota Wild began play at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Meanwhile, the Harlem Globetrotters, an annual visitor to the Met Center, moved on, as had a large portion of Met Center's concert business, to Target Center.
For several years after the arena was demolished, the property served as an overflow lot for the Mall of America. In 2004, an IKEA store opened on the west end of the property, and the new American Boulevard was rerouted through the east end of the property. The remainder of the site is planned long-term to become the site of Mall of America Phase II, of which the IKEA would be an anchor store.
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