July 12, 2023
Kelly McGrath Named General Manager and Executive Director of Xcel Energy Center
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Sports & Entertainment (MSE) announced today that venue marketing veteran Kelly McGrath has been named General Manager and Executive Director of Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn.
The White Bear Lake, Minn., native joined the organization in 2000 as the Director of Sales for the Minnesota Wild. In 2005, McGrath transitioned to the Director of Sales for Xcel Energy Center and in 2008 assumed marketing responsibilities for the venue. Her role expanded in 2022 to Director of Marketing and Communications for all MSE-managed facilities.
An instrumental member of Xcel Energy Center’s leadership team, McGrath has successfully led bids with US Figure Skating, USA Gymnastics, USA Hockey, NCAA, National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) and Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) governing bodies, landing events that generated millions of dollars in economic impact for the region. During her tenure, Xcel Energy Center has been recognized by notable publications like Sports Illustrated, SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily, ESPN The Magazine and Forbes Magazine for best arena, stadium, and fan experience. Xcel Energy Center has been nominated nine times for “Arena of the Year” by leading concert-industry publication Pollstar magazine and is highly regarded as a marquee destination for artists and fans alike, thanks in large part to McGrath’s promotional leadership.
“I am honored to lead Xcel Energy Center beside an already incredible team,” said McGrath. “We put great emphasis on creating memorable experiences for guests and performers alike, as well as providing a lineup of premier entertainment offerings for fans throughout the Midwest. I look forward to continuing to build on that success.”
McGrath’s talents have been recognized by many within the event industry. She has been named a 2023 Venues Today Women of Live Honoree, 2020 Venues Today Women of Influence Honoree, and the 2019 Women in Sports and Events (WISE) Twin Cities Woman of Inspiration.
“Kelly’s outstanding performance and experience in venue operations and live entertainment, along with her deep commitment to our community and organization, make her the perfect choice to lead Xcel Energy Center’s team,” said Senior Vice President of Facility Administration Jim Ibister. “We are well positioned for the future and look forward to a great next chapter.”
McGrath lives in Stillwater, Minn., with her husband Wayne Petersen, who serves as Director of Community Relations and Hockey Partnerships for the Minnesota Wild.