University of New Mexico’s Renowned and Renovated Pit Incorporates the Latest Digital Display Technology

Daktronics system includes integrated large screen LED displays and LCD televisions using IPTV technology

University of New Mexico students and Lobos fans are enjoying the first season in the recently renovated and renowned “Pit”, home of Lobos men’s and women’s basketball games and many other University events. Included in the renovation project is a state-of-the-art, integrated digital media network that incorporates Daktronics (Nasdaq-DAKT) large screen LED video displays, LED ribbon boards and more than 150 LCD televisions throughout the venue.

“The Pit is the most well-known and visible building in the state of New Mexico,” said University of New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. “It’s an icon. With the recent renovations it becomes even better. The technology that we’ve added with Daktronics takes the game day experience to a whole new level. The infusion of color and energy to the building, with video and statistics, adds so much. I sincerely believe it is the best basketball facility in the country.”

Daktronics worked closely with the University to develop the venue-wide system that includes two large end-wall video displays, four large digital ribbon boards, digital scorer’s tables, and an integrated network of flat screen televisions with content delivered through Daktronics new IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) system.

According to Tim Cass, Senior Associate Athletic Director at New Mexico who played a key role in managing the renovation, “This was a unique project taking an arena that had virtually no technology to one that is really state-of-the-art in terms of technology. There are 155 flat screen monitors in and around the entire arena that provide different information to our fans, from live in-game video and statistics to informative and entertaining sponsor announcements. The same system drives video, graphics and data to the video boards, ribbon boards and scorer’s tables. It’s all driven from one central control room, really bringing us from the ‘dark ages’ to a new age in technology.”

The two end-wall video boards use Daktronics popular 10mm pixel LED video technology to provide live video, replays, game information and statistics with incredible clarity and color depth. Each display measures approximately 13 feet high by 21 feet wide. Four fascia-mounted digital ribbon boards, two measuring 170 feet long and two measuring 125 feet long, provide additional information, graphics, animation and video clips. Twelve sections of digital scorer’s tables, along with game/shot clocks, make up the rest of the scoring, timing and display components within the seating bowl.

Those components, combined with the flat screen monitors, provide a unique a powerful digital media network that greatly enhances the experience of visitors to the Pit. It also allows the University to provide greater value for corporate sponsors.

“Daktronics, with the installation of our multi-media system, has increased the fan experience a great deal,” according to Brad Hutchins, Associate A.D. for Marketing, Sales and Communications. “From our game opens and player intros, to be able to instantly display statistics, and with one touch of a button on the Daktronics Show Control system, to be able to create a moment of exclusivity, where synchronized content appears on all the displays throughout our venue… that’s a powerful system.”

The IPTV system Daktronics developed for the Pit takes advantage of the latest network infrastructure technologies. The system delivers live video, real-time statistics and other content on multiple channels to the LCD screens throughout the venue. The system is built around the upgraded computer network structure, providing the ability to add televisions easily at network drops. The Daktronics IPTV system features the fastest digital encoders to deliver live video and other content to the screens. Viewers enjoy the wide variety of live content on televisions in the concourses, concession areas, suites, team store, press box and other working areas within the building.

At the center of it all is Daktronics new Show Control system. The system has the ability to ingest, manage and deliver various video, scoring, timing, statistical data, out-of-town scores and even point-of-sale information. With Show Control, all displays across the network can be controlled, either individually and within predetermined groups. This single system provides total control and total integration.

The University and Daktronics have worked together on many projects over the past several years. Daktronics equipment is also installed at the Lobos football, swimming, and track/soccer venues. The University also uses a Daktronics full-color LED message center on campus to communicate with students, facility and visitors.

Scott Dotson, Associate A.D. – Facilities, was very involved with the Pit renovation and other facility projects. According to Dotson, “We’ve had a great working relationship and partnership with Daktronics for a long time. We appreciate the functionality of their systems, the interchangeable design of many of their components, and the high level of service they provide. In addition, we don’t have to train operations staff on different systems at different venues.”

“We appreciate the patience of our fans while the renovation was taking place. From the feedback we’ve received, fans and visitors really love the new building. The Pit is a great venue and allows people from all over the state to come to Albuquerque to see all kinds of different events. A lot of memories are created here,” Dotson added.

About “The Pit” at the University of New Mexico

The 2010-2011 season will be the 45th year that the Pit (University Arena) has served as home for Lobo basketball. Over the years, more than 12 million fans have flocked to the venue to see the highly successful Lobos play basketball. In addition the digital media network upgrade, recent expansion and renovations of The Pit included new suites, upgraded seating and a remodeled concourse. The Pit hosted the NCAA Championship in 1983, and many NCAA first-round, second-round and regional tournaments since then. The Pit will again host NCAA tournament action in 2011 and 2012. For more information on University of New Mexico Athletics and The Pit, visit www.golobos.com.

About Daktronics

Daktronics is recognized as the world’s leading provider of full-color LED video displays. Daktronics began manufacturing large screen, full-color, LED video displays in 1997. Since then, over 7,000 large screen LED displays have been sold and installed in sporting and commercial facilities around the world. Since 2001, independent market research conducted by iSuppli Corp. lists Daktronics as the world’s leading provider of large screen LED video displays. Daktronics designs, manufactures, markets and services display systems for customers around the world, in sport, business and transportation applications. For more information, visit the company’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.daktronics.com, e-mail the company at sales [at] daktronics.com, call (605) 692-0200 or toll-free (800) 325-8766 in the United States or write to the company at 331 32nd Ave. PO Box 5128 Brookings, S.D. 57006-5128.

Source: Daktronics