Tournament Time Draws Many Visitors into Downtown St. Paul Neighborhood

March 07, 2018 06:33 PM

State high school tournaments - including this week's boys hockey tournament - bring tens of thousands of high school sports fans to the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul each year.

The tournaments also bring fans into the neighborhood and businesses surrounding the arena.

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RELATED: KSTP Sports' 2018 Boys State Hockey Tournament Central

The Wescott Station Antique Store is one of the oldest businesses still operating on the portion of West Seventh Street near the arena.

And Wally Wescott has been greeting Minnesota tournament fans for more than 40 years now. 

But new restaurants, bars, shops and a hotel have all sprung up on West Seventh over the past five years.

"A lot of the small shops are gone now," Wescott said.

Wescott Station remains, though, welcoming fans looking for something different. That includes nostalgic fans of high school hockey.

Every year, the store creates a hockey memorabilia display in its window.

"Hockey programs, yep," said Kurt Wescott, who runs the store with his Dad. "We have some old ones. I think the oldest one we have is 1948."

RELATED: Duluth East Captured the Final State Hockey Title at Civic Center 20 Years Ago

And the Wescotts plan to be there welcoming tournament fans for years to come.

"Most times, when people come into our shop, when they leave I don't know how many times I've heard 'Cool shop, fun shop, great shop, awesome shop,'" Kurt Wescott said. "They love it. They love it that we're here and we're still here."

Across the street is a new business - Boomshack Market.

Owner Tricia McGovern describes it as a cafe inside a convenience store - or a bodega.

"Down here there's a lot of kids, but there's a lot of bars," McGovern said. "So we felt like Boom Shack would be a really perfect addition for West Seventh because it's very family friendly."

All agree tournament season brings a fun vibe to the area.

"This is a special time as Minnesotans," McGovern said. "So I'll take this action over the Super Bowl any day of the week because it's our people!"

 

Credits

Tom Hauser

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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