|September 18, 2012 - Mike Modugno
Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster
Kalamazoo, MI- Wings Stadium, which is also home to "The Annex" and "The Cube", announces the largest renovation in the facility’s 39-year history.
The massive project will be completed by the Kalamazoo Wings 2012-13 home opener on Friday, October 19th.
“All of our upgrades have one underlying goal, to provide all of our guests with the ultimate experience,” said Stadium Management Company (SMC) and K-Wings General Manager, Jim Burlew. “This is the single most significant thing to happen to Wings Stadium since the doors opened back in 1974. These renovations are a vital step in keeping Wings Stadium the top entertainment destination in southwest Michigan.”
Highlighting the renovation is a spectacular 40 foot-by-12.5 foot full digital video board that will be capable of instant replay plus new fun and exciting promotions that provide for full fan interaction and enjoyment. "Wings Stadium has never had a video board before. This means that every K-Wings game along with many other events now become a fun and exciting entertainment event, in other words, we're now producing a show," Burlew commented.
SMC hired one of North America's top consulting firms, Total Sports Entertainment (TSE), to design and integrate the video board as well as the myriad of additional video and sound enhancements fans will see throughout the complex. To further enhance the entertainment experience, TSE will be producing a custom show for SMC events utilizing an eight-camera shoot using ESPN television quality cameras and equipment.
Helping the media provide Wings Stadium event coverage to the public, SMC will now be able to provide highlights to both local and out-of-town media outlets for each K-Wings home game as well as many other events.
SMC’s new digital video board, which weighs in at almost 15,000 pounds, will replace the existing 3,000 pound, 12 foot-by-12-foot scoreboard that has been utilized at the stadium since 2004.
Accompanying the state-of-the-art video board, will be a new sound system custom designed and installed by TSE that will significantly improve the patron entertainment experience through the rich sound of vibrant and exhilarating music along with crystal clear public address announcements. In addition, The Annex is receiving a total sound upgrade for the first time since it was built in 1989.
Wings Stadium is also installing a slew of 46-inch digital monitors in each tunnel leading from the arena seating bowl to the concourse creating a “ribbon board” that will add to the overall fun and excitement, showcase advertisers and celebrate K-Wings goals like never before.
The renovations and changes focusing on the ultimate fan entertainment experience do not stop there. Customers will also be able to enjoy more food options at Wings Stadium concessions. New signature items, such as K-Wings chicken wings, cheese steaks, foot long hot dogs and funnel cakes will accompany the fan favorite items that guests have come to love over the years. Plus, SMC Food & Beverage is installing state-of-the-art draft beer and soda dispensing lines that will quickly deliver ice cold beverages to our patrons.
The first improvements patrons will notice when they walk in will be a bright, inviting lobby and concourse featuring a fresh new paint scheme and exciting new flooring. The "ice white paint" and "true blue" boarder will be further emphasized by bright new lighting. The fun and vibrant new blue and white "Resinous Epoxy Vinyl Flake Floor" will replace the carpet in the main lobby and throughout the entire concourse. This bold new look will enhance customer enjoyment and their overall event experience.
Giving guests even more to enjoy and experience will be new digital video monitors and a vastly improved speaker system throughout the concourse. Fans will now be able to be a part of the show and the action even when mingling with family and friends in the concourse or heading to a concession stand for one of the new food items on the menu.
This is a digital age and most fans are now staying connected during sporting and entertainment events. SMC internet upgrades will also be made to meet and exceed these digital expectations, as well as to enhance fan engagement, interaction and their overall experience during all events.
“Our fans are very active in social media as well as on the internet downloading and uploading information during our events. We wanted to make sure that they can enjoy our events and stay plugged in to their tech worlds all at the same time,” said Burlew. “We are an entertainment center in a digital age so we are continuously focusing on exceeding their high-tech expectations.”
Keeping with the theme of a totally fun entertainment experience, SMC event staff uniforms and titles will evoke a brand new and exciting vibe in the complex. Patrons will now interact with “Fun Ambassadors” greeting them when they visit along with an energized entertainment oriented staff member at every turn.
Due to this construction, SMC is asking fans wanting to purchase tickets to Wings Stadium events, including single-game tickets for the K-Wings 2012-13 season, which go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, September 19th, to go to the administrative offices located between Wings Stadium and the Annex until Monday, September 24th. SMC asks the public to please pardon our progress and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.
Also because of this dramatic Wings Stadium improvement project, the K-Wings first preseason game versus the Toledo Walleye on Friday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m. has been moved to the Borgess Rink at Wings West, located on Sports Drive.
In addition to working with TSE, SMC contracted with The CSM Group as general contractors along with electrical provided by Feyen Zylstra and painting and flooring provided by PMV Painting & High Performance Coatings.
Stadium Management Company owns the Wings Stadium Complex, the Kalamazoo Wings hockey team, Wings West and the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings hockey team. The Wings Stadium Complex is comprised of three buildings; Wings Stadium seats more than 5,100 fans for K-Wings home games and more than 6,000 people for concerts and other stage events. The Annex seats 1,367 for ice events and can hold up to 2,850 for non-ice events such as car, boat, and trade shows. The Cube plays host to both ice and non-ice events. Wings West is comprised of two ice sheets plus Old Burdick’s Restaurant at Wings West. The Borgess Ice Rink can accommodate more than 1,200 fans for Jr. K-Wings games. The Olympic Rink plays host to both ice and non-ice events. Both facilities are available for rental and feature numerous catering and meeting opportunities.
For more information about the renovation at Wings Stadium, contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 226-0384.