Arena home of “biggest small college” video board

*This story was featured in the Hastings Tribune on July 28, 2016. 

The game day experience is going to be noticeably different inside Lynn Farrell Arena at Hastings College with the recent addition of a new video board.

The college put the finishing touches last week on the installation of the new state-of-the-art video board inside the arena.

“It’s being promoted as the biggest small college video board in the country. There is just no one out there that is claiming that,” said Adam Maser, Hastings College sports information director. “I’m excited for it, because it’s something that no one else has.”

The ScoreVision video board, which is 10 feet by 33 feet, has live video stream, LED video, instant replay and Apple TV capabilities.

It is “basically a giant TV,” Maser said with the capability to provide a whole new format for motion graphic content during games.

The board is operated through the ScoreVision app on an iPad and will allow operators to keep score, record player stats, highlight player achievements and integrate graphics, sound and video on the display.

The data from games is automatically saved to in real-time and through a companion fan app, parents, students and fans can receive instantaneous live game information from anywhere.

“I’m excited about it, but I’m also nervous, because it’s new, it’s different and it isn’t at any of the schools we play against,” Maser said. “If it comes together, it can be fantastic and could be groundbreaking.”

While the board’s primary use will be for athletic events in the arena, the increased video functions will allow for the college to expand its horizons far from traditional scoreboard use.

The new features will leave the door open for use at events such as award ceremonies, graduation and the dedication ceremony for the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center on Aug. 20.

The plan to upgrade the scoreboard at the arena has been in the works for a while, according to Maser.

He said the college’s athletic department had discussed replacing video boards at both Lynn Farrell Arena and Lloyd Wilson Field in 2012. The college replaced the scoreboard at Lloyd Wilson Field with a Daktronics video board in the summer of 2014.

The college then negotiated plans for a video board at the arena, opting to go with ScoreVision, an Omaha-based company that specializes in creating state-of-the-art, LED scoreboards. Gordon Whitten, who graduated from Hastings High in 1989 and Hastings College in 1993, is the company’s CEO and co-founder.

Whitten, who was vice chairman of the Board of Trustees for the college in 2011, said that once the college expressed the need to replace the arena’s scoreboard he thought a partnership between ScoreVision and the college would be a good one.

“Basically, Hastings College was ready to make a change and they looked at their options out there and they concluded that this had the greatest number of features and had the best value of anything they could find,” he said. “Then we started down a path of working that out.”

Whitten worked with the college’s administration, Maser and Chad Power, chair of the Hastings College journalism and media arts department, to coordinate an internship program at ScoreVision for Hastings College students.

The internship started this summer and allowed four students a chance to live in Omaha for the summer and learn about all the features the ScoreVision board and app have to offer, in order to help operate the board during the school year.

The partnership between the college and ScoreVision is something intern Tyler Murphy thinks will open the door for many possibilities.

“It’s an opportunity for athletes to see themselves on a scoreboard that would look appropriate in a Division I gym,” he said. “Beyond athletics, it offers students the opportunity to create pretty much anything they can dream up to be displayed on the board and it offers marketing or business students the opportunity to make connections in the community and create advertising content to be displayed on the board.”

Throughout the summer, Murphy has been learning more about the scoreboard and app in preparation for video board’s debut in late August for the opening of the art center.

“For the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center grand opening I’ve been working with David Sutter, Hastings College class of 1991, on a video showing the progress of construction, a little bit of what it will mean to the school and students and honoring Jackson Dinsdale,” Murphy said.

The video board is expected to be used a few times at the beginning of the school year, but it’s athletic debut will come on Sept. 7 in potential top-10 volleyball match-up between Midland University and Hastings College.