BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–American Tower Corporation and Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, are deploying a state-of-the-art Distributed Antenna System (DAS) solution that will bring 5G technology to the arena. Attracting 1.7 million visitors and hosting over 150 sports and entertainment events annually, including 44 National Hockey League (NHL) games per season, Xcel Energy Center ranks among North America’s largest arenas.
“We were ready to enter the new era of fan engagement and provide cutting-edge applications for the Minnesota Wild fans, with an updated, neutral-host 5G DAS,” said Jim Ibister, Senior Vice President of Facility Administration, Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. “When we were evaluating connectivity providers, American Tower’s track record with sports venues and technological vision made them the obvious choice to lead this critical network upgrade. Our fans expect a fast and reliable network, so they can share their live game-time experience with friends and family. This network upgrade will provide a state-of-the-art experience today and set the foundation for future technologies for years to come.”
Construction commenced in May, with an expedited timeline to finish the project ahead of the 2023 hockey season. The network will cover the 650,000-square-foot facility, including the arena, the adjacent Saint Paul RiverCentre, the city’s convention center, and back-of-the-house areas, to enhance operations and services. The new system will support all 5G spectrum bands, including C-band and millimeter wave (mmWave).
“We are honored to be selected by Xcel Energy Center, given their focus on delivering exceptional connectivity to enhance the guest experience,” said Francis Finnegan, Vice President, Managed Networks, American Tower. “We are working diligently to ensure a seamless transition, without any downtime, as we construct a parallel DAS network that will be fully deployed in time for the 2023 NHL season. Our DAS solution not only meets today’s 5G requirements, but it is future-ready for next-generation applications, with our edge compute offerings.”
To learn more about American Tower’s in-building wireless services for buildings and venues, visit americantower.com/venues.