The Minnesota Wild ice hockey club of the National Hockey League (NHL) calls the Xcel Energy Center home, located in downtown Minneapolis. Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 NHL season, the Wild have infused a special kind of energy into their gameday experience to help their fans inspire the team to victory.
Specifically, the rafters at Xcel Energy Center hold four Skywriter HPX MF-20 laser systems by X-Laser, the leading U.S.-based manufacturer of high-powered laser light show projectors. Each system boasts 20 watts of full-color laser power, which is unleashed during the team’s pregame program and each intermission.
“The Wild reached out to us when they wanted to purchase a laser system instead of renting one for each season,” explained Tony Mahmood, manager at Minneapolis-based Legacy Production Group. “We worked with X-Laser to provide the Wild the laser package and our team programmed the custom laser show.”
The laser show is projected onto the ice playing surface and is complemented by video projections, traditional lighting effects and pulsating music. The main show runs for several minutes just before pregame player introductions and different shows play during each of the two 20-minute intermissions between game periods.
“We update the show content every few months, so that the gameday presentation remains fresh and dynamic to keep the fans engaged and energized,” Mahmood added. “Those updates occur at the beginning of each regular season, each January around the midpoint of the season, and for each round of the playoffs in which the Wild participate.
“We program the show using a grandMA2 console and run everything using a combination of traditional laser software and X-Laser’s Mercury laser control system via sACN. Working with the X-Laser team has been really good and the Wild love having exclusive usage of their own set of lasers in their home arena.”
The X-Laser team assisted Legacy Production Group with designing the system and planning the installation, as well as on-site training and verification once it was time to rig the laser units into the rafters. Due to the vast area inside the Xcel Energy Center, the team had one notable challenge to overcome.
“We couldn’t daisy chain our remote stop signals among the projectors like we normally would in a more linear array, so we had to create a solution to ensure the remote stop signal routing remained in compliance,” said Andrew Berry, X-Laser CTO. “We ended up making a custom patch panel that integrates with our EtherStop system and the Wild’s show control network.”
“Overall, the entire install and project has been fairly easy, and honestly, even making the custom network switch wasn’t a big deal,” Mahmood said. “With the way our system works and how straightforward the rigging was thanks to all that space up in the catwalks, now it’s simply a laser installation that the team loves, the fans love and it looks badass.”
To read this article and see more photos in issue 28 of MONDO | STADIA, click here.
To learn more about Legacy Production Group, click here.
To learn more about our 20W Skywriter HPX, click here.