In Dallas on Saturday, sports fans can witness a national rarity — and, according to an unofficial local team historian, something that has never happened with the Timberwolves and a Minnesota NHL team.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, the Wild will face off against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Arena. The game should finish up around 3:30 p.m., at which point the arena will be cleared, cleaned and converted to basketball for its other primary tenant, the Mavericks. They have a game at 7:30 p.m., against none other than the Timberwolves.
Two Dallas teams against two Minnesota teams in the same building on the same day. It's not just a strange coincidence; it's never happened before, according to research from Paul Swanson, who keeps track of all sorts of history for the Timberwolves.
He said neither the Wolves and Wild, nor the Wolves and North Stars — now of course the Dallas Stars after they were stolen from Minnesota, leaving the state without an NHL team for a depressing chunk of the 1990s — have ever played in the same road arena on the same day.
The closest they have come is Dec. 14, 2008, when they played in the same market on the same day: Wolves at Lakers, Wild at Anaheim (both teams lost, though the Wild scored a power-play goal while the Wolves got just two points from rookie Kevin Love).
Five other times, all between 2000 and 2009, both teams played in the same road arena on back-to-back nights (both teams have losing records in those games). But never, until Saturday, have they had a road doubleheader in the same arena.
It's rare enough for the Wild and Wolves to have games on the same day when both are at home. It will happen just seven times this season, and just once could a fan conceivably attend both games: Jan. 10, 2015, when the Wild has a 1 p.m. game at Xcel Energy Center against the Predators while the Wolves host San Antonio at 7 p.m. at Target Center.
Dallas, meanwhile, has just one other instance this season where the Mavericks and Stars have a day-night doubleheader of sorts: Dec. 13, when the Mavericks host Golden State at 2 p.m., while the Stars host the Devils at 7:30 p.m.
So if you're a Minnesota fan living in Dallas … well, first: condolences.
But really, if you're a Minnesota fan living in Dallas, you owe it to yourself, Drew Pearson, Herschel Walker, Norm Green and everyone else to make it an all-day affair at American Airlines Arena on Saturday.