TSE® was approached by the Kalamazoo Wings to oversee an interior renovation of Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI. The technology was antiquated and in poor working condition. No significant upgrades were made since the facility opened in 1974. Along with the facility the Wing's needed an overall franchise renovation. Since the time they opened the facility, the stadium was considered a "true hockey" facility rather than an entertainment facility. The Wings wanted to take the franchise to a brand new direction while revitalizing it in the community. TSE® was brought in to oversee the physical plant changes while breathing fresh new life into the organization.
Individual challenges were met throughout the scope of each part of the renovation. When it came to the facility, the goal was to incorporate a new video board while totally revamping the concourse and concessions. Both the concourse and concessions were old, dark and cramped. The concessions were selling close to the same items at each location.
The video board faced unique limitations due to the existing roof structure, which is very low. In the past, the previous score board would be lowered and carted out of the facility when non-hockey events were being held. The new board would also be hidden from view when needed while being much larger in size. There was also the challenge of no location allowed for a ribbon board.
When it came to the Wings franchise, over their 30+ years of existence, they did things consistent but in the old fashion way. They had novel approaches but needed an overhaul of operations to support the facility and to better sell tickets and sponsorship sales. There was also a need for new internal techniques on how to market and produce content for the new technology.
PHYSICAL PLANT ENHANCEMENTS
With the challenges from the existing roof height, TSE® brainstormed and designed a structure that could be spun 90 degrees and lifted above the lights allowing for it to be hidden instead of removed from the facility. That allowed the design and purchase of a 40 ft. x 12.5 ft. four sided digital video board, the largest in minor league hockey, with the help of LSI Industries. The board was custom built so that the video can be viewed from all angles of the stadium.
The concourse was redesigned with new paint, flooring and lighting, as well as enhanced sound. Digital signage was also placed throughout the concourse for added advertising opportunities and sponsorship revenue. An awning that was previously impeding views was removed to create an overall brighter and open concourse to enhance the fan experience.
Along with the concourse, the concessions were opened up with new paint, lighting and flooring. With creative new graphics, a fresh look and taste was put into each individual stand, allowing for new varieties of menu items to be incorporated. Digital menus were also installed in each stand to enhance the ability to sell more and change unique food items for each event.
The arena had no available location to place an LED ribbon board. Through creative design and outside the box thinking, LED monitors were placed in each of the 30 vomitoriums, creating a virtual ribbon. This allowed for added advertising revenue and great promotions to be incorporated for unique plays and events.
A new production room featuring instant replay was designed to manage the non-stop action of all Wings hockey games as well as other outside revenue generating events. Further enhancements were made by installing JBL Professional speakers and a Clear-Com Wireless System.
Before and After
FRANCHISE MANAGEMENT AND
When TSE® walked in the door, there was a realization that the Wings needed more than a breath of fresh air, there needed to be a new sense of adrenaline. The structure of the organization was analyzed, dissected and then redesigned to improve the lines of communication.
The initial phase began with a 3-day seminar with the Wing's front office to place a structure of efficiencies. A clear and concise direction was given so that everyone knew what needed to be done, who was going to take care of it, and what time frame these projects needed to be accomplished by.
Within the new structure an increased level of ticket sales executives were implemented to create a further reach in the community. New programs were introduced along with ongoing sales training so the staff is generating new sales.
The new organizational structure also consisted of the hiring and training of a new staff to handle the level of show demanded with the new facility renovations. TSE® placed an Executive Producer to handle all content for the video displays. A full promotions and production team was hired and trained by TSE®.
With all the facility renovations, it was important to monetize them so new revenues are generated. A higher level of show was designed and installed to create more sponsorship inventory to sell.
Customer service was and is continued to be stressed among the entire Wings Staff, from ushers to the top level executives, so that when the fan enters the parking lot to when the leave for the night, they are receiving the ultimate fan experience.
Fans attending Kalamazoo Wings games and other Wings Stadium events now see a much more advanced show production that includes video elements, increased promotions and higher quality sound.
The Kalamazoo Wings have gained higher sponsorship revenues thanks to increased inventory provided by the new video board and all digital signage displays around the facility. The power of digital signage now allows the club to sell multiple opportunities in set locations at premium pricing.
The fans are now incorporated into "The Show" with the inclusion of wireless fan cams for Kiss Cams, fan shots and all other fan contests. Ticket sales for the season have seen an increase of more than 22% after a decline the past five seasons. Overall, the Wings are providing a better experience from the moment the fan hits the parking lot before the game to when they leave for the night and have become a leader in the state of Michigan.
TSE® Equipment Highlights:
LSI Industries 40 ft. x 12.5 ft. full four sided digital video board
Philips 46 LCD monitors, 1920x1080
Digital Media Players
SD/HD 5.8GHz RF Microwave Camera System
15 subwoofer JBL professional
JBL Professional Full Array Cabinets
Sound Director premium software package
Broadcast Pix SD video production system with 1ME Control Panel and 4 SDI Inputs
16 x 16 SDI Video Matrix Switcher
Clear-Com Wireless Base Station, Transmitters and Headsets
Multi-Channel HD/SD Slow Motion Replay
TSE® Consulting Services Provided:
TSE GameTime® ScriptPRO System & Training
TSE GameTime® SponsorPRO System &Training
3-Day Customer Service Training
Placing of an Executive Producer
Staffing, Training and Deployment of a full Game Day Staff