Behind the bench and on the ice weren't the only places changes took place during the offseason. Xcel Energy Center, the Minnesota Wild's home rink, underwent some sizeable upgrades that should improve fan experience during Wild games and other events in the building. Here are five new features you should look for at the Xcel Energy Center this year.
1. New LED sports lighting
Working with Iowa-based Musco Lighting, Xcel Energy Center installed a new LED sports lighting system that both reduces energy consumption and makes the ice sheet really pop. The new lights use 63 percent less energy than the old lighting system and offer many different special effects features like LED color-changing technology. By installing the new system, the Wild joins seven other NHL teams that have upgraded to LED lighting to comply with NHL lighting standards.
2. ARENA app launched as a companion to Wild games
Xcel Energy Center has a new companion app, ARENA, that gives fans the opportunity to customize, share and memorialize their experiences at Wild games. From the app, you can purchase tickets, search a complete calendar of Xcel Energy Center events, receive notifications about promotions at the game and more. Additional features and functionality will be announced as soon as they are available.
3. New single-attack end bleacher seating
The Xcel Energy Center has replaced the bleacher seating system on the single-attack end, affecting 1,009 seats across sections 119 through 101. Bleachers typically hold up for 18 years or so, and with the old bleacher seating approaching that age, it was time for an upgrade. Fans will notice that the seat cushions are thicker for a more comfortable game experience and that the composite laminated decking of the new bleacher system is much quieter than the old aluminum bleachers.
4. Xcel Energy Warming House upgrades
Located at Section 124, the Xcel Energy Warming House has undergone a significant redesign this offseason. The new Warming House will offer fans an impactful way to support the Salvation Army's Heat Share program, which provides funds to families across the State of Hockey who need help paying their heating bills in the winter. Fans who donate to the program will be able to create their own commemorative puck right on site. The celebrity puck wall that previously occupied the space has moved to Gate 5 near the suite level concierge desk, and fan pucks from years past will be reinstalled near the new Warming House soon.
5. Added and redesigned bar space
The bar at Section 120 is now the Mich Golden Light Fan Zone, and the inside of the space has been totally redesigned. Right next door is the newly installed Goose Island Pub, which replaces what used to be a beer cart.