Mark Herrera, IAVM director of education, was joined by Paul Villotti, vice president at FP&C Consultants in Kansas City, to lead the staff of the Minnesota Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium through security steps as the venue already begins its year-long countdown toward hosting the 2018 NFL Super Bowl.
Herrera said that the two staffs were trained on situational awareness, including exceptional focus, performance, and control in extreme situations, along with crowd management smart practices.
Billy Langenstein, the venue’s director of guest services, worked to bring the training to the venue to assure staff and guest safety through ongoing training.
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area saw 32.5 million total visitors in 2016, a 2.8 percent increase over 2015’s 31.6 million convention and leisure travel visitors, which is a new all-time record for the area. Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, announced that a study conducted by DKShifflet shows that both the number of visitors and visitor spending increased yet again in 2016. This news arrives as the hospitality industry celebrates the 34th annual National Travel & Tourism Week that concludes tomorrow.
Visitors spent $7.6 billion in the area, an increase of 1 percent over 2015, when spending was $7.5 billion. The number of leisure visitors alone increased 4 percent to 23.4 million in 2016 from 22.5 million in 2015, with their spending increasing to $5.3 billion, or almost 2 percent over $5.2 billion spent in 2015.
“I sound like a broken record, but it’s all true: Minneapolis continues to set all-time hospitality records,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “Travel and related spending continue to increase in our own community, just as it is across the nation, where travel is one of America’s strongest industries.” Travel and tourism generates $2.3 trillion for the U.S. economy.
National Travel & Tourism Week gives the industry an opportunity to shine a light on what travel means to jobs, economic growth and personal well-being. Travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance.
“Travel supports one in nine American jobs, including 34,870 jobs right here in the city of Minneapolis, or 10 percent of the local workforce,” said Tennant. “This week, we are celebrating these workers and what travel means to our community.”
Daktronics announced that the University of South Carolina has asked the company to design, manufacture and install a 12-display centerhung system and ribbon displays at Colonial Life Arena on campus in Columbia, South Carolina. The new LED system will be installed and impacting the Gamecock fan experience by the end of summer.
“The technology and the video display quality of these new video and ribbon boards will make the in-venue experience at Colonial Life Arena the best in the nation,” said South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “These new boards will make such a tremendous impact on our men’s and women’s basketball programs. It will be great for our student-athletes, coaches and fans.”
The new centerhung will feature four convex-curved main displays with tight 4-millimeter line spacing to bring excellent image clarity and contrast to fans throughout the venue. They will measure approximately 12 feet high by 20 feet wide and are capable of variable content zoning allowing each display to show one large image or to show multiple zones. These zones can show any combination of live video, instant replays, statistics and game information, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages.
“We’re excited to be working with the University of South Carolina and are thrilled to be a part of the upgraded visual presentation at Colonial Life Arena,” said Corey Williams, Daktronics sales representative. “They’re introducing some big video features including being one of the only venues with 4-millimeter technology in their centerhung system. Some unique features will really stick out to the fans such as the curved main displays and 10-millimeter technology on their fascia displays as well as incorporating a trend in the professional sports arena industry with two underbelly displays to make the experience better for people sitting closer to the court.”
The centerhung also features an upper ring measuring 3 feet high by 95.5 feet in circumference, a lower ring display measuring 3 feet high by 87 feet in circumference and four corner wedges creating usable space between the main displays.
The university is receiving two underbelly displays attached to the bottom of the centerhung and angled toward the courtside seats. Appealing to those sitting closer to the action, these two displays will feature tight 4-millimeter line spacing and measure roughly 4 feet high by 15.5 feet wide.
Around the arena, a large 360-degree ribbon display will be installed along the seating fascia. This provides the opportunity to supplement statistics and graphics shown on the main displays as well as offering an option to highlight sponsors throughout events.
As part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Venue Management School (VMS), we will occasionally post some special reflections of the school as submitted by IAVM members. One such member is best known as the man who carries a slew of accreditations after his name, which of course would be Larry Perkins, CFE, CPP, CMP. He also carries the title of IAVM president (now chairman) in 2006-07.
Perkins, vice president of guest relations/assistant general manager of PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, took some time to speak about the value of the school and what it has meant in his professional career.
“My first remembrance of Oglebay,” Perkins said, “came in the form of a phone call that I received while I was at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, from a member of those starting up the school. I wish that I could remember who, and believe that it was Frank Russo or Pat Fitzgerald, who wanted to know if I would share material on policies and procedures, which I was happy to do.
“Subsequently, I attended and serve as a class president. After graduating, I was the first person to go through a formal interview process that the Board of Regents had instituted. In 2004 I was fortunate enough to be selected as the Chair of the Board of Regents. During my term, I realized that IAVM referred to the school as Oglebay, which is the name of the venue. We had not developed a logo to identify the school, and I drafted a logo design (right) that was subsequently approved by the Regents. Additionally, it was during my term that we started the VMS Graduate Institute, and I appointed Ray Ward, CFE, as its first Dean.”
The VenueConnect Annual Conference and Trade Show hosts professionals from a spectrum of public assembly venues including arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities, and more.
Professionals of every level from all types of venues attend VenueConnect for the inspiration, expertise, and life-long relationships that the conference provides. IAVM understands that the agenda of a young professional could be very different from the agenda of an experienced venue veteran and that the interests of a university professional could be very different from the interests of a performing arts professional.