Tag: Minnesota

Cold, Hard Decision for Some Ice Rinks

The University of Minnesota will no longer use the ozone-depleting refrigerant R-22 to keep its ice surface cold at 3M Arena at Mariucci. (Courtesy University of Minnesota) With production of refrigerant ending, all options could be costly A popular refrigerant will no longer be produced after the end of the year, leaving many maintenance managers at arenas with ice rinks with a choice to make: stick with the current refrigerant to keep the ice cold by paying premium prices for a product that’s being phased out, or consider using ammonia, carbon dioxide or a newer, more environmentally friendly product called Opteom. “Ice arenas across the nation will have to find non-ozone-depleting refrigerants to keep ice rinks cold,” said Charlie Muus, director of maintenance and operations at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., home to the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team. The change is due to the Montreal […]

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New MLS Venues Renew Premium Hospitality

The Sunset Club, an open-air gathering spot at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, home of LAFC. (Courtesy LAFC) Concessionaires help design social experiences, wider range of offerings for soccer fans  Already this Major League Soccer season, Minnesota United FC has opened $250 million Allianz Field and the Portland Timbers have pumped $85 million into expanding and renovating Providence Park. Both venues, plus 2017 newcomers Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles and Audi Field in Washington, D.C., came with a rethinking of the way MLS delivers premium hospitality, now that the league’s teams largely have their own buildings. Building venues specifically for the sport has allowed concessionaires to work with architects and design experiences into the construction. It also offers better programming to align with expanded ticket offerings, such as all-inclusive, open-air social gathering spots and a broader mix of higher-end clubs and suites.  “We see an increase […]

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Generation Next: Lisa Niess

Marketing and Communications Manager, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, SMG When Lisa Niess was a student at Iowa State, she landed an internship at Stephens Auditorium, a 2,700-plus capacity theater on the university’s campus. Before the experience, she’d never considered a career working at venues, but her eyes were soon opened to the possibilities. “It didn’t take me long to realize how cool it was to be there on show night and to see the theater fill up with people excited to be there,” she said. “They’re taking a break from whatever else is going on in their lives to spend time with family and friends and to relax and enjoy themselves. And I realized quickly that that’s where I wanted to be.” Today, Niess, marketing and communications manager for U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, helps create those enduring experiences for fans for the largest events in the business, ranging from the […]

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Loons Lean on Local Brands at Allianz Field

The fare at Hungry Loon stands at Allianz Field includes barbecue sandwiches from Handsome Hog. (Courtesy Minnesota United FC) Minnesota United FC, Sportservice spotlight Twin Cities faves Allianz Field concessions will showcase several local brands, building on what has become a tradition in the Twin Cities and something fans strongly identify with at sports venues in the marketplace. The $250 million MLS stadium opens Saturday, and Minnesota United FC officials gave VenuesNow a sneak peek at the local restaurants and vendors participating in their food program. Delaware North Sportservice, the team’s food provider, will feature Kramarczuk’s sausages, The Buttered Tin, Handsome Hog, Afro Deli & Grill, Curds & Cakes, Hot Indian, Brasa and Cecil’s Deli on the menu, among others. The Buttered Tin, a St. Paul bakery, will serve its handmade Twinkies at the Café Beignet stand. Brasa, a premium rotisserie in town, will produce burritos, designed to be served […]

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‘In a Whole Other World’

Allianz Field’s roof canopy filled with LED lights is the stadium’s signature feature. (Courtesy Minnesota United FC) Minnesota United FC’s Allianz Field has a signature roof canopy and more Allianz Field officially opens in mid-April, but the newest Major League Soccer stadium made its presence felt in December when the LED roofline turned red and green to celebrate the winter holidays. The festive beacon caught the attention of thousands of motorists on Minnesota’s busiest highway and gained the venue exposure across social media. The roof canopy’s ability to change colors for events is the signature feature at the $250 million facility, which sits off Interstate 94 in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood, the halfway point between the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis. On April 13, when Minnesota United FC plays its first home match in MLS, the roofline will turn a cool blue.  Populous designed the stadium, but Dr. Bill […]

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