By Franklin Heinzmann
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – The NU Campus is getting a makeover. Over the course of the next month, two new LED video boards will be installed in the Gallagher Center, one LED video board will be installed at Dwyer Arena, and a new scoreboard is projected to be installed on the softball field.
In addition to the renovations at the various sporting venues, the TV Studio in Dunlevy Hall will also be getting renovated. It will now have the capability to broadcast NU sporting events on ESPN, ESPN+ and ESPN3. Three new studio cameras, a new video switcher, a new audio mixer, new monitors, and fiber-optic cables to each of the sports venues on campus are going to installed in the TV Studio. With the renovations, comes the ability to produce new types of graphics and have instant replay capabilities.
Simon Gray, NU’s Athletic Director, was grateful for the McKnight family’s one million dollar donation that kick started the renovations. Gray was also enthusiastic about the multifaceted benefits of having new video boards and having the capability to broadcast on ESPN.
“The video boards will certainly enhance our game atmosphere for the basketball, hockey, and volleyball games,” Gray said. “It’s a good fan engagement tool. Also, it helps the look of the venues in recruiting. So when a potential student-athlete is looking to play here [at NU], they’ll know we have something more modern at our venues.”
Dr. Mark Barner, Chair of the Communications and Media Studies department, commented on the TV Studio’s renovation from an academic standpoint.
“It’s exciting from an educational standpoint because it’s going to give our students much better facilities, more up-to-date facilities, more professional facilities.” Barner said.
Both Gray and Barner emphasized that the renovations of the studio and sporting venues are a great way for students to get hands on experience, and to get involved. What better way to get involved than to take a class? Barner will be teaching CMS 360 A Sports Production I in the fall, he had some great things to say about it.
“It’s going to be very hands on, with lots of learning-by-doing,” Barner said. “Students could potentially fill in positions in the control room, but also positions on-site at sporting venues. It’s a great opportunity, but it’s going to be a lot of hard work too.”
The first domino to fall in the renovations will be a new scoreboard on the softball field. It is projected to be installed by the Softball team’s first home game on April 3, when they host the Youngstown State University Penguins for a doubleheader. The TV Studio renovations are currently in progress.