Minnesota Hockey Magazine

Wild Treats Fans to New Scoreboard and More

Long-awaited ‘X’ upgrades to be a sight for sore eyes.

Amid the myriad of awe-inspiring amenities greeting Wild fans when Xcel Energy Center opened to rave reviews in September of 2000 hung the state-of-the-art scoreboard. It has been suspended from the ceiling above center ice ever since but it was just a matter of time before it became obsolete and that time has come.

The Minnesota Wild announced this morning that a new custom HD LED center-hung video board will be the centerpiece of what is being termed a comprehensive technology upgrade inside and out of Xcel Energy Center. The new board will be nearly six-times larger than its predecessor, spanning the length of the neutral zone from blue line to blue line, and is designed to complement the building’s North Woods theme.

Daktronics of Brookings, S.D. and Redwood Falls, Minn., the manufacturer of the original scoreboard and the arena’s other LED displays, has been charged with setting a new standard for the in-arena experience much like it did nearly 14 years ago.

“Daktronics is a proven leader in this industry and we are confident and really excited about adding these new technologies and what they will mean for in-arena opportunities,” said Matt Majka, Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer. “We want to enhance our home ice advantage and give back to the fans what they give us each and every night.”

Xcel Energy Center’s outdoor marquees and ribbon displays that encircle the interior arena fascia are included in the technological upgrades which are just one of a pair of significant projects designed to maintain the arena’s viability in attracting high-profile events. A full seat replacement is scheduled to begin in 2015.

“We want to ensure that Xcel Energy Center continues to be one of the best arenas in the world,” said Jack Larson, Vice President and General Manager of the venue. “It’s vital to attracting the best events and keeping fans coming back to Saint Paul year after year.”

The new elements will be largely manufactured in Minnesota and installed over the summer, with the official unveiling planned for the Wild’s first home preseason game on Sept. 27 against the Winnipeg Jets.

“We’re honored to continue our partnership with the Minnesota Wild and improve the fan experience at Xcel Energy Center,” said Tony Mulder, Daktronics sales. “It’s a testament to our American-manufactured product and continued customer support that the team has selected Daktronics to meet their video display needs more than a decade after our initial partnership began. We’re excited to accept the challenge they have presented us with and we look forward to seeing the successful installation making an impact this fall.”

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