Case Study: Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena Shines with Christie MicroTiles

The University of Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena has partnered with Christie Digital to help sruce up its main lobby. The Hawkeyes are promoting their numerous NCAA titles and the benefits of its program on a large Christie MicroTiles display wall. The MicroTiles installation was part of a large renovation project for the athletic department.

The Christie MicroTiles video wall is the focal point in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena lobby.

The Christie MicroTiles video wall is the focal point in the Carver-Hawkeye Arena lobby.

The following is a case study provided to Sports Video Group by Christie Digital and its marketing partners JB&A:

A Fan-Pleasing Revitalization
The world of college sports is competitive. To stay competitive and to keep their large, loyal fan base happy, colleges must provide state-of-the-art facilities. There’s no better example of this truth than at the University of Iowa, where the Carver-Hawkeye Arena recently underwent a $47 million revitalization.

The arena, which is used by most of the University of Iowa’s 24 sports teams, was renovated and expanded with larger, updated locker rooms, practice facility, and strength and conditioning spaces. The revitalization of the arena also includes many of the arena’s public spaces, such as renovated concessions and restroom facilities, meeting rooms and new hospitality spaces for donors and fans.

Attached to the arena is a new, boomerang-shaped, four-story building that houses offices, meeting and storage spaces for the administrative and coaching staff of the University of Iowa Athletics Department and most importantly a practice facility and strength and conditioning space for the university’s student-athletes. This building shares a new entrance and lobby with the arena. Beside the lobby’s ticket window is the eye-catching 10 by 7 tile Christie® MicroTiles® display wall.

The display wall runs around the clock and shows content created by the University — videos of their sports teams, slideshows of players and games, player profiles, digital signage and newly-commissioned digital video art.

“The Christie MicroTiles wall is definitely a big focal point of the entire renovation project, both for the people walking through the lobby but also from the standpoint of the University itself. With the overall image quality, brightness, and how well it displays full-motion video, the MicroTiles have created quite a buzz — everyone’s really excited about the overall look and how well everything integrated together” enthuses Nate Lawrence, vice president of operations, Electronic Communications Systems (ECS).

This massive renovation and revitalization project brings new energy and opportunities to the university’s staff and athletes who use the facilities. And fans can enjoy the excitement of a live sporting experience more than ever before.

“We have this wonderful sunlit, airy entry with a video wall that hits visitors with this display. It’s a very powerful experience for people first entering the arena. The
tiles have the vibrancy in a bright atmosphere that LED would never have achieved,” explains Jane Meyer, senior associate director of athletics for the University of Iowa. “We are very excited about [the Christie MicroTiles]. We have the most advanced technology. We wanted to have the most vibrant videos displayed, very small bezels and multiple screen options to create a very high-quality image and I think we have accomplished our goal.”

Christie MicroTiles Blow Away Other Technologies
ECS worked in collaboration with KJWW Engineering to install the audiovisual technology in the new arena, including the lobby’s Christie MicroTiles display wall.

ECS and the University had considered more traditional, LED-based display walls, but after seeing the Christie MicroTiles at InfoComm, the integrator quickly realized that Christie MicroTiles would be a far superior choice. Says Lawrence ”MicroTiles are different and better. The content, layout, overall appearance, lack of bezels — these were all deciding factors … You can create different sizes and shapes and it’s a cohesive layout when the wall is all put together…. With the MicroTiles you have the ability to do really cool things you can’t do with LED screens. MicroTiles blow you away compared to LED displays.”

Over their lifetime, Christie MicroTiles also have a lower total cost of ownership than LED panels thanks to their durability, reliability, low-maintenance design, and small carbon footprint.

The university and audiences are extremely positive about the Christie MicroTiles installation. “The university was pushing for the latest and greatest technology to showcase in this state-of-the-art, cutting-edge new facility, and they found it in Christie MicroTiles. The size is a huge factor — one big, unobstructed screen creates a lot of buzz. The picture quality, brightness, resolution — they are amazing.” says Lawrence.

The display wall runs around the clock.

Meyer adds “Donors feel the project exceeded their expectations and that makes them feel that their donations were well used…. It was really critical to our donors that the newly revitalized arena have a front door and an entry that welcomes everyone who enters, especially the student- athletes and recruits.

This high-profile installation was ECS’s first encounter with Christie and Christie products, and ECS has come away impressed. “Christie was great to work with. We look forward to continuing the partnership. We’re actively seeking clients who might like to have the same sort of install in their facility.”

“It was a wonderful experience working with Christie, knowing that they wanted a sports application and knowing that we wanted to have a very unique entry to our building. I think we’ve accomplished both. We are extremely excited about what we have as an entryway. We will definitely consider using Christie in future applications,” concludes Meyer.