An artist's rendering shows the new video board planned for the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The rumors were true.
The Xcel Energy Center will be getting upgrades this year, including a new center-ice, high definition video board.
The Minnesota Wild and Daktronics announced the upgrades on Monday, which will be completed in time for Minnesota’s preseason home opener on Sept. 27.
The new center-hung, LED video board will be nearly six times larger than the current board and stretch from blue line to blue line. The design will continue the Xcel Energy Center’s outdoors, North Woods motif. The outdoor marquee and ribbon displays around the interior of the arena will also be upgraded.
The Wild announced a full seat replacement will begin in 2015.
"We want to ensure that Xcel Energy Center continues to be one of the best arenas in the world," Jack Larson, Vice President and General Manager of the venue, said in a release. "It’s vital to attracting the best events and keeping fans coming back to Saint Paul year after year."
The upgrades had been rumored for some time and follow some of the changes around the NHL, such as the new video board in Colorado’s Pepsi Center. The announcement comes on the heels of upgrades approved for the Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, and a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Wild and Daktronics are partnering for the improvements to the Xcel Energy Center.
The new center video board will consist of 10 LED video displays and measure approximately 19 feet high by 37.5 feet wide. The two ends of the board will be 19 feet high and 24 feet wide.
Opened September 29, 2000, the Xcel Energy Center is still operating with the original signage technology, which was designed by locally-based Daktronics.
"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," Matt Majka, Wild chief operating officer, said in the release. "We want to enhance our home ice advantage and give back to the fans what they give us each and every night."