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US Bank Stadium claims first with NFT-ticketed event

ASM Global has claimed a first after US Bank Stadium, home of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, recently staged Web3 conference VeeCon, an event that was ticketed through NFTs.

VeeCon was launched by social media mogul Gary Vaynerchuk and took place at the stadium from May 19-22. Nearly 7,000 people attended the event from around the world, with 83% of guests being first-time visitors to Minnesota.

The convention, said to be the first-ever NFT-ticketed event of its kind, generated an economic impact of more than $21m (£17.3m/€20.1m) in Minneapolis, according to calculations by VeeFriends, a project inspired by Vaynerchuk’s desire to use NFTs to build a community around his creative and business endeavours.

Venue staff were trained on how to verify access through the show app. According to VeeCon, 10,255 NFT tokens were purchased before the event. The tokens provide access to VeeCon for three years.

The speaker line-up for the event included filmmaker Spike Lee, actresses Mila Kunis and Eva Longoria, and author Deepak Chopra. Other speakers included Mark Manson, Logan Paul, Liam Payne, Pharrell and Snoop Dogg.

The stadium floor was converted to house a main stage with 3,500 seats, four side stages for concurrent sessions, a Ferris wheel, a batting cage, lawn games, six food trucks and more. Stadium concourses also housed activations, while concert performances took place on the night featuring the likes of Wyclef Jean, GARZI, Lian Faz, Immasoul, Lil Polo Tee, Fresco Trey and Miguel.

John Drum Jr., general manager of US Bank Stadium, said: “We were honoured to host the first major gathering of the VeeFriends community.

“There’s a ‘wow’ factor for attendees and first-time guests when they come into a venue like ours that has hosted Super Bowl LII and the 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four. It was exciting to maximise the versatility of the stadium for a B2C event like this, and the VeeCon team took advantage of the unique space the venue offers.”

Drum added: “The stadium has 5G connectivity, free public Wi-Fi capability throughout the venue, and we added additional antennae on the floor to supplement the existing infrastructure. We are used to hosting large-scale events, like the Super Bowl in 2018, so we have the bandwidth to make sure the tech runs smoothly. VeeCon used the video boards and LED ribbon boards to enhance the main stage set.”

Ron Bension, president and chief executive of ASM Global, said: “It’s more important than ever to gather communities together in person. Hosting VeeCon offers US Bank Stadium and ASM Global the opportunity to lead these large-scale events back to live. This launch event continues the upcoming business-meeting boom that we are seeing in Minneapolis and worldwide.”