The Minnesota Lynx will temporarily relocate home games to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul next season. The Lynx current home, the Target Center in Minneapolis, is undergoing renovations which will require a complete shutdown of the arena next summer.

The Xcel Energy Center hosts more than 150 sporting and entertainment events per year, according to the Lynx.

The move to the east side of the Mississippi River should expose the Lynx to a new audience within the state. Culturally, residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul are generally loyal to events within their respective cities. Therefore, playing at ‘the X’, as it is known to St. Paulites, will allow the Lynx to tap into a fresh market of fans.

To kickstart this effort, the Lynx have partnered with Visit Saint Paul and the Lynx Tickets for Kids program to give free access to games to thousands of people who had previously never had the opportunity, according to the team.

The city of St. Paul is on the upswing in its number of professional sports teams. Currently, the Minnesota Wild are the only team to call Minnesota’s capital city home. However, the Minnesota United FC Loons will soon reside in St. Paul when they join Major League Soccer in a new stadium set for completion in 2018.

Brad Omland is the Minnesota Lynx staff writer for Follow him on Twitter for Minnesota sports updates and commentary: @bradradio.