Venue News: Pacers’ $16M Investment Includes Massive Scoreboard; Cal Memorial Stadium Nears Completion

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

The Indiana Pacers’ $16 million investment in a sound system and gargantuan new scoreboards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse could signal the team’s commitment to Indianapolis for the long haul. For fans, the upgrades will modernize the audio and visual experience inside the 13-year-old fieldhouse. The scoreboards — including one hung above center court with two 50-foot-wide high-definition screens, five times as big as the screens they’re replacing — should be ready for the Pacers’ home opener Nov. 3. The new 45,000-pound center scoreboard will be built by ANC Sports. Plans also call for installation of 330 HD flat-screen televisions in concourse areas on all levels…

…Now that the Memorial Stadium project is nearly complete a week before Cal opens the football season against Nevada, the issue of how the university is going to pay for the $321 million overhaul is a matter of evolving finances. While UC Berkeley officials were bursting with pride at a Friday news conference announcing the reopening of the stadium after 21 months of construction and seismic retrofitting, they were also aware of the multifaceted and fluid nature of the massive debt financing ahead of them. Three professors from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business have been enlisted to examine the financial model for the stadium, which has changed over the years as the university’s Endowed Seating Plan has fallen short of expectations…

…UCLA has asked Daktronics to design, manufacture, and install an integrated video and scoring system as part of the renovations of Pauley Pavilion, scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2012. The project includes the design and manufacture of a centerhung display system, ribbon displays, and corner scoring displays. The centerhung design features four 10mm video displays measuring 12 feet high and 16 feet wide with a digital ring display measuring more than two feet tall and 27 feet wide. The main displays are capable of showing one large image, highlighting live video, and instant replays, or being divided into separate windows to show a variety of vivid graphics, colorful animations, scoring information, up-to-the-minutes statistics, and sponsor advertisements with outstanding brightness and wide-angle visibility. The digital ring provides the opportunity to showcase sponsors throughout events and provide up-to-the-minute statistics and game information...

…When the Toronto Blue Jays opened their new baseball stadium in 1989, it was seen as the next generation of technology with a retractable roof and high-tech graphics enhancing the fan experience, along with a hotel and restaurant also part of the building. Almost 25 years later, Rogers Centre (formerly known as SkyDome) became just another ballpark, passed in its wow factor by several of its contemporaries. When it came time for an A/V facelift, building owners called on Westbury National Show Systems, Inc. of Toronto. As part of the job, Westbury National installed 300 new screens, a distribution system, and a Cisco StadiumVision upgrade in about 10 weeks, starting in February 2012, ensuring the work was done in time for the Blue Jays’ home opener in early April…

…The San Jose Earthquakes announced that the club will break ground on its new privately financed 18,000-seat stadium in San Jose with a public ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 21. The $60 million stadium, which is slated to open for the 2014 MLS season, will be located at 1125 Coleman Ave., across from the Mineta San Jose International Airport. The Quakes will continue playing at Buck Shaw Stadium next season. They hoped to have the new venue in place by the 2013 season, but those plans became increasingly less realistic with each passing month.