Angel Of The Winds Arena
Snohomish County’s premier event facility
With an enviable lineup of events and boasting a leading resident sports team, Angel Of The Winds Arena provides a top-tier event venue
As the largest city in Snohomish County Washington, Everett is home to more than 110,000 people and is a hub of art, culture, and music. Only 25 miles from Seattle, the city has much to offer in its own right, from its public marina, which is the largest on the West Coast, to the limitless recreational opportunities for visitors and residents to enjoy.
Right in the heart of this spectacular city is Angel Of The Winds Arena, a 10,000-seat, premier event facility offering entertainment options, from major sports and concert events to public skating and community happenings. Owned by the Everett Public Facilities District, the complex is managed by OVG360 and has been a venue of choice for millions of visitors since it opened in 2003.
General Manager, Corey Margolis relays, “This facility was built to have an impact on economic development, not only in downtown Everett, but also the whole of Snohomish County. A key part of our ability to have that impact has been in the variety of event types and formats that we are able to host because of the design, which includes not only our 10,000-seat arena but also an 11,000-square-foot conference center, and a community ice rink, which is one of the most vibrant parts of the facility, with 1000s and 1000s of people through every day of the year.”
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the venue, Kat Guenet, Director of Marketing, says the focus is on welcoming people back.
She shares, “For our 20th year, it’s really about giving people even more of the experiences they’ve come to love in the last 20 years. We have made improvements to various aspects of our facility, one of them being our security, as we want people to feel as safe as possible when they come through the venue, as well as making the process as smooth as possible.”
“In the areas of safety and security, when you come back into our house you know you can come here, and rest assured, we’ve got you covered. We want it to be about more than purchasing an event ticket, every part of the experience in some way is going to be about welcoming you back.”
A spectacular new 360 LED horseshoe ribbon display from Daktronics and improvements to the community ice rink are part of the new experience, which will, as Guenet says, “make the event experience larger than life.”
For the recent security upgrade, Angel Of The Winds Arena used the services of XtractOne technologies. Explaining the reason for this step, Margolis says, “We handle all different levels of security, whether it is WNBA or televised events. We’ve done presidential candidate events in the past, and we’ve handled all the security, but we didn’t have any real consistency for a number of years. We clearly believe there’s a need for us to be driving the security procedures and policies of our facility, but a major concern of ours at the same time is fan experience and making sure that people can enter the building in a reasonable amount of time.”
After investigating many different options with the help of OVG360 and Prevent Advisors, it was decided that what XtractOne had to offer would be the best choice for the facility. As one of the early adopters of this technology in the OVG360 Group, Angel Of The Winds was also the first arena in Washington State to bring this on board.
“Not only is it a higher level of security screening than a standard walk-through metal detector used in many facilities, but it’s also really fast. Whereas we’re looking at six people maybe a minute in a walk-through metal detector, we’re getting 16 plus people a minute through our units. You’re not taking stuff out of your pocket. Many people aren’t even sure they’ve gone through security,” says Margolis. “I can’t speak highly enough about the level of experience it creates. I’m very happy that we have an improvement in security that went along with a positive guest experience.”
As a 20-year-old venue, it was also time to upgrade the security cameras, both interior, and exterior. Working with Security Solutions Northwest, the venue has been equipped with an Avigilon system which Margolis notes is a top-line security brand and industry leader for large-scale facilities.
Angel Of The Winds Arena is now moving forward with all of the lessons learned over the past three years, specifically those brought about by COVID. For Margolis the introduction of quality air handling systems is one of those, as he recounts, “We really pinpointed early, that that would be important during the pandemic, but also something that would be with us, and it’s something that’s important for us to lead on post-pandemic as well.”
Upgrading all air filters to a high-quality MERV 13, he says the facility was also equipped with an air purification system that would actively remove infectious particles from the space. “It was a great example of where our private management was able to also work with public partners, with Snohomish County being able to allocate some of their CARES funding to our facility to help.”
“While the Facilities District is a public entity, we don’t just get a check from the City or County. So, this was a case where we saw a need, and we worked with them. The County saw it as an important investment, as we’re an economic driver for the area with a large gathering space. It was really a great partnership and collaboration to make a positive improvement,” Margolis determines.
Angel Of The Winds has also made improvements to their ice-making capabilities, installing a new system that is more efficient, uses less harmful chemicals, and lowers power usage.
“With a two-rink facility, and a hockey team, our ability to make ice is one of the most important things,” remarks Margolis. “20 years into the building, there are some greater risks that come even with a lot of preventive maintenance. We wanted to work on a system that would limit any downtime to our ice services during the transition, because we have at least one ice surface that is year round, and we have a lot of long-term annual contracts that are related to that.”
Working with Wyatt Refrigeration, and the engineering team at the arena, a new plate and frame system was designed and installed in the ice plant room. “I’m really pleased with this solution which has added to efficiency and long-term viability of the facility to keep us operating and having an impact on the community,” he conveys.
This ice surface is important for the community and many of the events hosted by Angel Of The Winds Arena. It is also used regularly by the resident WHL hockey team, the Everett Silvertips. As a franchise that began at the same time as the arena, the team had the most winning record in the league over the most recent five year period. They also have the highest average attendance and have made the playoffs every year, and in 2022 they were named the league’s business of the year.
“They have been a very consistent player, and a key part of our facility over the years,” Margolis acknowledges. Guenet says that the team is a close partner of the arena, adding, “We do work closely in tandem with them, they’ve been our tenant team throughout this process. People do associate going to a Tips game with going to the arena. It’s a long-term partnership, and it’s great to see how they’re doing.”
In other exciting events, Angel Of The Winds Arena will be hosting big-name acts like Papa Roach & Falling In Reverse, and the Professional Bull Riders, who will return for two dates in 2023.
“2022 was our highest event income year of all time. We are really pleased with the level of shows, and the different variety of promoters, the number of ticket sales, and ancillary spending. We really feel we have a great ability to build even on that this year,” asserts Margolis.
As for what comes next, he maintains that with strong event years, comes the ability to continue to reinvest in the building.
“A priority to us is that balance of our improvements of the back end systems that no one sees, but are super important to the facility being viable, but at the same time, also making sure we have a component of our investment in the facility that is public-facing, improves the experience, is really in your face, and shows that we’re taking seriously the appearance and the ability for this facility to perform, and are invested into that improvement.”
“Our goal is great events and experiences and continued improvement and investment into the facility,” he concludes.
AT A GLANCE
Angel Of The Winds Arena
What: A 10,000-seat arena and event venue in downtown Everett
Where: Snohomish County, Washington