Mountaineer athletes won't be the only ones "lighting it up" this coming season. New, state-of-the-art score/video boards, complete with high resolution video and expanded messaging capabilities, also will be part of the fan experience at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium and the West Virginia University Coliseum.
Under a partnership between the WVU Foundation and Panasonic, the global electronics maker is installing two new video board systems - one in the Coliseum and one in the football stadium.
The two systems, each valued at approximately $5 million, are being made available to WVU in part through a generous commitment from alumnus Ben Statler and his wife Jo, and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.
"This partnership presented a wonderful opportunity for the University," said R. Wayne King, WVU Foundation president and CEO. "The Foundation, consistent with its mission, is pleased to make this possible with the help of private support from our donors."Panasonic, together with WVU, will use the new video board systems as a showcase to feature the latest state-of-the-art video and audio technology, officials said.
"These systems are designed to engage and inform everyone at the event, and are equal or better in quality to any professional sports venue," said Keith Hanak, group director, Panasonic System Solutions Company. "West Virginia University and its fans will experience an unparalleled technological evolution this season, and the beginning of a new era in WVU sports history."
Athletics officials are excited about the additions, and believe the new video boards will greatly enhance the fan experience at both venues.
"We think fans are really going to enjoy these improvements," said Russ Sharp, senior associate athletic director at WVU. "The video boards will add a whole new dimension, increasing the sizzle and excitement at both the Coliseum and Puskar Stadium. We've had a great working relationship with all the parties involved, and look forward to the fall sports season getting underway."
The new video board systems not only will enhance the experience for fans, but more importantly, provide opportunities for increased revenue for the athletic department from advertising, Sharp added.
The Puskar Stadium makeover includes a new video system that is three times wider than the current south end zone system and with higher resolution LED quality. Two LED fascia boards running down each sideline will provide in-game statistics, scoring, messaging and sponsor advertising. A new south bowl auxiliary board also will be installed.
The new Coliseum center-hung video board will feature a four-sided, LED video replay system. The four video boards will provide replays and live event coverage, in-game scoring statistics, special messaging and sponsor advertisements. Two round LED halo boards will be located above and below the new center-hung scoreboard, and two new LED auxiliary boards will be installed behind each basket.
A new state-of-the-art directional sound system and lighting system also will be installed in the Coliseum.