The Wild Take Us Inside Their New Practice Facility
By Tony Da Costa
Head Equipment Manager, Minnesota Wild
The beginning stages of the Minnesota Wild’s new practice facility started long before the brick and mortar were laid. Since the beginning our organization knew it was important to keep everyone that would call the facility home on a daily basis involved TRIA Rink is located in downtown St. Paul just a few blocks away from the Xcel Energy Center on the fifth floor of Treasure Island Center. This unique redevelopment project saw the transformation of an old department store, which had been vacant since 2013, into a modern, mixed-use facility.
The Wild locker room is on the lower level connected to the fifth floor rink by two custom service elevators. The 30,000 square foot locker room consists of a theatre room, commercial grade kitchen, custom designed wet area including multiple tubs and state of the art training area including a 40-yard running track.
Roughly 18 months prior to the doors opening a committee was formed, ran by the developers, project manager and professional design group including select members from the Wild. This group had a voice from the equipment side, team operations and Hockey Operations.
Our voice was crucial in the design and flow of the facility. We discussed topics such as, but not limited to proper and practical equipment storage; truck access to the locker room; state of the art drying options; and the flow from the change room, to the wet areas into the main locker room.
The project manager was receptive to ideas and concerns we had throughout the process giving us the space and allowing us to determine what was needed .
One important thing to remember is keeping the budget up-to-date and creating a list of what is most important to the overall facility as items get eliminated due to financial restraints.
Now that we are in the facility there are small projects and issues that arise but overall the level of amenities and space is beyond what we could have hoped for when starting this process.