Although Minneapolis and St. Paul are very nearly the perfect pair today, the Twin Cities were not always so happy to share their success with each other.

Back in the 1890s, local law enforcement would actually arrest and jail census takers from the other city in order to prevent them from submitting information that might indicate one city had outgrown the other. Architects doing business in one city were refused business in the other.

In 1923, the local American Association baseball teams actually came to blows. When both cities competed for a major league baseball franchise in the 1950s, the result was two rival stadiums being built at the same time, and briefly in the 1960s, the two cities refused to agree on a common calendar for daylight-saving time, which placed people in Minneapolis one hour “behind” St. Paul for several weeks each spring.

With the exception of the daylight-savings flare-up, however, the cities were largely working together and growing together by the 1960s. Interestingly, the arrival of the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Vikings, both of which identified with the state as a whole and specifically with both cities (the Twins even named themselves after the MSP area), helped make major strides toward reconciliation and set a precedent that sports teams in the area would be named for the state as a whole.

A number of professional sports teams enjoy the statewide support that comes their way by being located in the Twin Cities, and the region boasts seven professional sports teams in baseball, football, ice hockey, basketball and soccer.

While the Twin Cities are certainly growing together, their unique characteristics remain. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have active, effective community planning divisions, and the Minneapolis area tends to consistently offer a more avant-garde look and feel, while St. Paul tends more toward classical and Victorian styles. Both have worked together to develop effective, attractive light rail transit and curate unique neighborhood “personalities.”

The result is a complementary metro mix that attracts residents from many walks of life and has been an incubator for a thriving arts community.

These days, instead of antagonism, the Twin Cities literally offer something for just about everyone.

Categories | Article | Profiles
  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at or reach Carole directly by emailing

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