Sports in Minnesota include professional teams in all major sports, Olympic Games contenders and medalists, especially in the Winter Olympics, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations and active amateur teams and individual sports. The State of Minnesota has a team in all five major professional leagues (Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer). Along with professional sports, there are numerous collegiate teams including the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA Division I, Minnesota State Mavericks in NCAA Division I and NCAA Division II and many others across the Minnesota public and private colleges and universities.
The Minnesota Twins are an MLB team that moved to Minnesota in 1961 from Washington D.C., where they were known as the Washington Senators. The Twins played their home games at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington from 1961 to 1981 and the Metrodome in Minneapolis from 1982 to 2009, moving to their current stadium, Target Field, in 2010. They have been to the World Series in 1965, 1987 and 1991, winning in 1987 and 1991. In 2001, the Twins and the Montreal Expos were threatened with closure in a contraction scheme of the Commissioner of Baseball. That effort was unsuccessful, and the next year the team made it to the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Notable current and former Twins include Kirby Puckett, Bert Blyleven, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Paul Molitor, Johan Santana, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter, Joe Nathan, David Ortiz and Kent Hrbek. There was a Minor League Baseball team based in St Paul called the St Paul Saints.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an NBA team founded in 1989 and play their home games at Target Center in Minneapolis. The "Wolves", as they are called by fans, have yet to appear in an NBA Finals series, but made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. In 2000, NBA officials ruled that the Wolves violated league rules when signing then-free agent Joe Smith. They then declared the contract was henceforth invalid, fined the organization $3.5 million and took the team's next three first-round draft picks. Notable current and former players include Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Sam Cassell, Karl Anthony-Towns, Ricky Rubio, Stephon Marbury, Latrell Sprewell, Terry Porter, Sam Mitchell, Wally Szczerbiak, Malik Sealy and Andrew Wiggins.
The Minneapolis Lakers were an NBA team that was moved from Detroit to Minneapolis in 1947. Eventually in 1960, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, where they became the Los Angeles Lakers. During their stay, the Minneapolis Lakers won the 1947–48 National Basketball League (NBL) championship, then joined four other NBL teams in joining the Basketball Association of America (BAA), where they won the 1948–49 BAA championship. After the 1948–49 season, the NBL and the BAA merged to become the NBA. The Lakers then won five championships in six years, in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954. They are considered to be the NBA's first "dynasty". Notable players include George Mikan, Jim Pollard, Vern Mikkelsen, Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette and Elgin Baylor.
The Minnesota Vikings are an NFL team founded as an expansion team in 1961. They play their home games at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings have won one NFL Championship in 1969, one year before the AFL–NFL Merger. The Vikings were the first team to appear in four Super Bowls, but also lost all of them. Their last appearance in the Super Bowl was Super Bowl XI against the Oakland Raiders in 1977. Notable current and former players include Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, Jim Marshall, Ron Yary, Mick Tingelhoff, Paul Krause, Cris Carter, Carl Eller, Fran Tarkenton, Chuck Foreman, Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, Darren Sharper, Jim Kleinsasser, Brad Johnson, Alan Page, the "Purple People Eaters", Adrian Peterson, Randall McDaniel, John Randle among others
Before the Vikings, Minnesota also hosted the Minneapolis Marines/Red Jackets and the Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos. Three players who played for Duluth are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Duluth teams played at Athletic Park, while the Minneapolis teams played at Nicollet Park. In 2014, the Bemidji Axemen of Bemidji played two seasons as a team in the Indoor Football League.
The Minnesota Wild are an NHL team founded in 2000 and play their home games at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. The Wild have not appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals. With their second draft pick in franchise history, the Wild drafted Mikko Koivu, who now holds the team's record total franchise points and is team captain. The Wild made it to the Western Conference Finals in 2003, by beating the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks both in seven games after being down three games to one in the series, before being swept by the then Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Notable Wild players include Marián Gáborík, Mikko Koivu, Wes Walz, Darby Hendrickson, Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Thomas Vanek, Eric Staal, and Jordan Leopold.
The Minnesota North Stars were an NHL team that was part of the 1967 NHL Expansion and played their home games at Met Center in Bloomington. They appeared in the 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, but did not win either one of them. In 1993, the North Stars moved to Dallas, where they became the Dallas Stars. Notable players include Harry Howell, John Mariucci, Gump Worsley, Neal Broten and Mike Modano.