DES MOINES, Iowa — Corporate sponsors and premium seat holders got a chance to take a sneak peek at the new high definition video board at Wells Fargo Arena Tuesday night, as it made its debut and was showcased for the very first time.
The video scoreboard alone was a $1.6 million project. “We had a scoreboard, video board up for ten years, and so it was due for an upgrade, and the way technology is, this new board is incredible. We feel like our teams, the Iowa Wild, the Energy, Barnstormers , they do a great job with fan engagement. This will only enhance what they do,” said Wells Fargo Arena General Manager Chris Connolly. “More bells and whistles. Get the fans more involved, higher technology, more exciting things actually on the board, and then when play is in action, it`s new HD footage that you`ll be able to watch live, in addition to the action on the ice or on the court or on the field,” said Connolly.
After a 10-15 minute long presentation showing what the new video board has to offer, the folks that have suites and attend lots of events at the arena were impressed. “I was shocked. It`s huge, in fact the first thing I thought was ‘I can`t wait for March Madness,'” said Wells Fargo Lead Regional President Don Pearson. “You can see every single detail, so I think it just really compliments a great arena,” said Pearson.
The new video board is part of some $2.2 million worth of upgrades that have been done to the arena over the past six months, including newly installed LED lighting that will represent a 70 percent savings in energy over the course of a year. Also new is practically everything in the control room. The old control room had only 48 patch points on their patch panel, while the new one has 172 patch points; which means a world of difference in the control room’s ability to route video.
There is more than a mile`s worth of connecting cables behind the patch panel. “We replaced the production switcher, the multi-viewers you see behind me, all the heading equipment that drives the new video boards, so this is what will drive on the online feed for hockey, and basketball, for football. It will also drive the video board inside here,” said Production Manager Andy Schmidt.
The public will be able to see the benefits of the new upgrades when the Iowa Wild open their season on October 10. Now that the arena has completed major upgrades to its technology, General Manager Connolly says the focus will likely next turn to upgrading the arena’s premium level seating and suites.