In the spring of 2014, the Wild began replacing its Wi-Fi networks with Cisco Connected Stadium, a scalable network the vendor created specifically for sports and entertainment venues. The team also rolled out the StadiumVision content distribution system on all 530 displays throughout the arena and upgraded the back end that supported the infrastructure, installing new Cisco access points, switches, routers and cores. It finished just in time to host the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
Sarah Eikmeier, the Wild’s digital display specialist, gives BizTech an inside look at the technology and benefits of StadiumVision. Here are the top four things you need to know about what it’s like to manage those displays:
1. Hundreds of Screens to Manage
There are 530 digital media players (DMPs) with screens spread throughout the Xcel Energy Center, including in the concourses and at concession stands, according to Eikmeier. There are also three displays made up of six screens each (three screens across and two screens tall).
2. Flexible Control via Cisco StadiumVision
All of the screens are controlled via the Cisco StadiumVision console. Eikmeier says she can change the content on the screens based on a variety of factors, including who the opposing team is and to display merchandise from different concession stands.
Additionally, the screens can be dynamically changed for when fun or exciting events happen during the game. Eikmeier has pre-built animation for goals and power plays. She can change the displays using what is known as an “ad-hoc state,” and if there is a goal, she can trigger the screens so that the left side and bottom (the “L-wrap”) reflect the goal.
3. Live Stats Enhance the Fan Experience
This year, the Wild have started to implement live player statistics, or live stats, into the displays, Eikmeier says. Fans regularly keep track of such stats as part of fantasy hockey leagues.
The live stats, under the banner “Statistically Speaking,” will pop up on the screens in the concourse every so often and will show fans stats like face-offs won or a goalie’s save percentage. “Now the fan experience is heightened,” Eikmeier says. “They can constantly see the game. They can see the live stats.”
4. A Flexible Platform to Control the Screens
Part of what Eikmeier says she likes about StadiumVision is that the technology is “very mobile” and can be accessed from anywhere — she runs it all from her laptop.
“I could be in the press box. I could be walking around the concourse,” she says. “I can be at home if I needed to be. And I can see what each DMP is playing from my computer.”
For more on how CDW is helping the Minnesota Wild use technology to improve fans’ experience, visit CDW.com/ITRS.