A new, four-sided center hung videoboard featuring the newest technology from Daktronics will greet fans in the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center in 2018-19 as part of an overall upgrade to the video technology in the 16-year-old facility.
The main videoboard will feature 4mm video display, a significant increase in video quality from the 16mm display on the current board, on an area measuring 8’3” x 14’6” on each side. Fans will notice a dramatic improvement in resolution, which will be in a 16:9 HD standard ratio, as well as in the actual size of the board as the current scoreboard measures just 7’10” x 6’1” on each side. Upper and lower LED rings provide a space for both sponsorship and fan engagement use, as well as complete game information.
“I cannot wait to see the new videoboard hanging in the NIU Convocation Center,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier. “Thanks to our Board of Trustees, NIU Vice-President for Administration and Finance Sarah McGill and staff of both NIU Athletics and the NIU Procurement Office for navigating this process from start to finish. This scoreboard system, and especially the videoboard, is going to give the whole arena a new look and feel, bringing even more excitement to our basketball games and events in the Convo. I’m especially excited for our fans as this will significantly improve the in-game experience for people in the stands during our basketball games, and will also make the arena more marketable as we look at bringing in other events.”
In addition to the main videoboard, new end wall displays will be installed on the east and west walls of the Convocation Center, with full color display and closed captioning capability. Each board will be 9’ high by 15.5” wide. All three video displays are capable of variable content zoning, allowing each to show one large image or to be divided into multiple different zones. The displays can show any combination of live video, instant replays, game statistics and information, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages.
The display panels on the Convocation Center marquee on Lincoln Highway also will be replaced and upgraded. New shot clocks will be installed above the baskets. In addition, the computers and control systems will be replaced with the latest technology and software, giving NIU the ability to maximize the in-game experience for fans. The new system replaces the videoboard which was originally installed when the building opened in 2002.
“The new videoboard will be great for our fans and a welcome addition to the Convocation Center,” said NIU men’s basketball head coach Mark Montgomery. “I’m sure that the new, state-of-the-art scoreboard will provide video and graphics that enhance the fan experience, which is very important. I can’t wait to see the new scoreboard and I’m sure that our fans are looking forward to it also.”
“I think this scoreboard completes the Convo in terms of making it one of the best venues in the MAC,” said NIU women’s basketball head coach Lisa Carlsen. “It’s the final piece of our game day experience that will really enhance the atmosphere for our players and fans.”
The current scoreboard will be removed in July with the new equipment installed in August, with all elements to be operational prior to basketball season. The project will be funded initially through NIU Convocation Center reserves. NIU Athletics will be specifically responsible for repaying these funds over the course of the next several years.
“The new LED display system at NIU Convocation Center will surround Huskie fans with video and animations creating a fully immersive atmosphere,” said Joey Hulsebus, Daktronics sales representative. “The new center hung system will bring a new level of resolution to the venue that will have a significant impact on fans. Pairing those displays with the end wall video displays ensures that nobody will miss a moment of the action.”
The NIU Convocation Center welcomes approximately 220,000 visitors per year for Huskie men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, graduations, concerts, cheer and high school competitions and more.
“We are looking forward to the new video boards and how they will enhance the overall experience offered by the facility,” said Heather Priest, Director of the Convocation Center. “Guest experience is one of our biggest priorities at the Convocation Center and this new technology will allow guests to not only come to an event, but to fully engage in the event. The video boards will help us provide a first class experience for all fans!”