Improved investments in the fan experience at the National Hockey Center

ST. CLOUD – Fans attending a hockey game at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center this season should notice a few key improvements.

St. Cloud State University has invested approximately $1.2 million in brand new LED video displays and significantly upgraded the sound system.
Director of the National Hockey Center Kory Portner says that the two end displays are technically the same size as the old ones.

There were static graphics for sponsors, then the static rating system, and then all of that stuck into the actual video ad, so the video board was smaller in our old system. Now we’ve taken the same footprint and the whole thing is an LED display. It’s basically just a giant TV screen.

In addition to the two end displays, there are new displays above the six entrances into the arena and four overhead displays. All 12 panels can be synchronized to display the same or different graphics.

National Hockey Center photo by Jim Maurice of

National Hockey Center photo by Jim Maurice of

He says that by adding more speakers and repositioning the old ones, the sound is more consistent throughout the arena.

They’ve moved some of the speakers to where they hang in the arena, the capacity has been doubled, so now I feel like we don’t need to push the volume to a certain level to try to fill any dead spots that we had the past.

Portner says that next season they plan to replace the entire lighting system with all-new LED lights.

According to Portner, this is the biggest upgrade that directly impacts the fan experience since the upgrades completed in 2012.

The rating and video system was last updated about 15 years ago and this is now the third different sound system they have.

In addition to SCSU’s men’s and women’s teams, the National Hockey Center is also the home stadium of St. John’s University. The women’s team has their home game against RPI this Friday, the men’s team’s home game is this Sunday against St. Thomas, and the Johnnies’ home game is November 10th against Concordia.

The Herb Brooks National Hockey Center was built 33 years ago.

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