Bruce Springsteen and the E Street pals at Xcel Energy Center in 2012. / Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

Bruce Springsteen and his E Street pals at Xcel Energy Center in 2012. / Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is The Boss.

Just in time for stocking-stuffer ticket sales, Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band have announced “The River Tour,” a nine-week trek that includes a Feb. 29 date at Xcel Energy Center. Tickets for the St. Paul date go on sale Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. for $57.50-$152.50 via, 1-800-745-3000 and the arena box office.

The tour, which kicks off Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh, follows the release of an expanded box-set edition of Springsteen’s definitive 1980 double-album, “The River.” Word is he plans to play the record in its entirety on the tour. Each stop on the itinerary will also be recorded and made available to fans as live albums soon after the shows, a tactic that Pearl Jam fans have been loving for years.

Springsteen and E Street's last few tours have also hit Xcel Center, most recently in November 2012, a two-nighter. The Minnesota Wild has home games scheduled the night before and night after Bruce's show, so there's no chance of him doubling up this time. Next stop on the tour is Milwaukee on March 3.

No longer part of Conan O'Brien's late-night TV band, drummer Max Weinberg will once again be back with E Street in 2016 (his son Jay Weinberg capably filled in for him on their 2009 tour). They are set to perform on "Saturday Night Live" on Dec. 19.

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