The Wild will provide closed captioning services at all future home games at Xcel Energy Center, starting Monday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. when the Wild takes on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Arena captioning helps deaf and hard-of-hearing fans have the same game-day experience as hearing fans when it comes to in-arena entertainment, announcements and game-related information. Closed captioning services will be provided by locally-based Paradigm Reporting & Captioning and will appear on the Xcel Energy Center's new center-hung scoreboard that was installed this past summer. The added capabilities of the new state-of-the-art technology made the service possible.
"It's our goal to create the best experience possible for each and every fan," said Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka. "Thanks to our new technology, we can take an important step in that direction."
According to the Hearing Loss Rehab Institute, it is estimated that over 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. The Minnesota Department of Human Services estimates that roughly 750,000 Minnesotans have some form of hearing loss and as many as 117,000 Minnesotans are profoundly deaf.
"Providing captioning at Wild games is a game-changer for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, adding a whole new dimension to the fan experience," said Jan Ballman, president and CEO of Paradigm. "The Wild proactively providing this very important accommodation in their home arena should be a proud and happy day for Minnesota sports fans."