SEAT Global Magazine - Sports Industry Case Studies Issue 05 June/July 2017 Special Edition - Page 44

How Xcel Energy Center Creates 'A Greater State of Hockey'

For the Minnesota Wild, success is more than just fielding a winning team on the ice. It’s even more than delivering a great fan experience.

“Our mission,” says chief operating officer Matt Majka,

“is to create a greater state of hockey.”

When the National Hockey League awarded the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area an expansion franchise in 1997, the team knew it wouldn’t begin competing in the league until the 2000-01 season. Team executives and staff members had three years to plan the building of the franchise, including the construction of a new arena.

The team asked fans what they wanted in a hockey arena, Majka says, and it used their input in planning and building the Xcel Energy Center.

MAINTAINING A FOCUS ON FANS

Fans were the primary consideration as well in 2015 when the team undertook a major technology overhaul. A significant upgrade of the wireless network that delivers Wi-Fi access throughout the building was a key element of the overhaul.

The team deployed 430 Cisco Systems access points throughout the arena to make sure fans can get a signal no matter where they are in the building, says Jim Ibister, vice president of facility administration.

Case Study

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