St. Paul police plan extra patrols after recent violence; businesses on West 7th optimistic as Wild fans return
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The St. Paul Police Department plans to have three times the normal officer staffing levels in the neighborhoods surrounding Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Wild’s home opener Tuesday night in light of recent violence on West Seventh Street.
It’s one of the first large events in the entertainment district since the deadly shooting at Seventh Street Truck Park bar, which authorities say arose from a dispute between two men. Marquisha Wiley, 27, was killed and 14 others were injured in the shootout.
"We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that visitors who are coming to St. Paul tonight are safe," St. Paul Police Senior Cmdr. Jeremy Ellison said.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office will have deputies in the West Seventh neighborhood as well.
"I think they (fans) should come back, I think everyone will be safe here,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said. “I’ll be down here myself to make sure closing goes smooth."
At Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, general manager Kathy Gosiger hopes the start of the hockey brings back customers.
"It’s been pretty quiet, our business has been down 50%, but we are hoping for a good crowd tonight and some good energy," Gosiger said. “It’s a beautiful day, we’re hoping to fill our patio, all three of our rooms and send people off safely."
In the shadows of Xcel Energy Center, you’ll find Patrick McGovern’s Pub — a popular spot for Wild fans.
"Are people going to be a little leery at first? Probably, but that will go along the wayside," said Pat Boemer, the pub’s owner. "I don’t think the Wild fans are the type of crowd that will be scared off by something like this. I really don’t."