The College Basketball Experience is an award-winning world class entertainment, recreation and education facility connected to the Sprint Center Arena in downtown Kansas City. The facility is comprised of two floors and 41,500 square feet of space that houses the official Men’s Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Visitors can visit and learn about the greatest players, coaches and teams from college basketball’s over 100 year history.
The College Basketball Experience features a fully functional full court as the centerpiece, along with basketball skill stations including free throws, 3-point shots, dribbling and passing drills, last second shots, and a space to call the game highlights at an actual sports desk. In addition to the basketball-centric nature of the facility, the space is also Kansas City’s most versatile event space, hosting private and corporate events including banquets, fundraisers, organizational meetings, awards programs, wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs, watch parties and more.
Recently, the College Basketball Experience decided to upgrade its center court experience with a Prime View video wall. The video wall replaced an old scoreboard and provides new capabilities for displaying HD and 4K content. The folks at the College Basketball Experience called on AV Plus Design to design and integrate the video wall.
“My initial conversation with Joe Nickell of AV Design was initiated after our CEO and management team determined that a big-idea visual upgrade was needed at our main presentation and event space, the Center Court,” says Christi C Evans, Senior Director of Systems & Audio-Visual Services at the College Basketball Experience. “Our goal was to upgrade our center court video capabilities from analog to HD and brighten our primary display. We had a Christie Roadie 12K projector that projected onto a 16 by 12 foot screen, which lowered in front of our scoreboard.”
- PrimeView 4×4 video wall, PRV55SNG01 with 3.5mm display to display bezel gap
- Crestron DM16x16 Digital Media routing switcher with 4k UHD input and output cards
- Crestron DM-RMC-4K Room controller and scaler end points
- Crestron DM-TX-302 4K input end point
- Crestron CP-3 control processor
- Wyrestorm SW-0402-MV multiviewer
- Sharp LC-80LE661 80″ LCD panel for secondary display
- Panasonic TH42LFE 42″ LCD panel for shot clock displays
AV+Design : Design Consultant and project manager, Joe Nickell, Leawood, KS
AMX & Crestron coding: John Michener, Rocking M Coding and Design, Minneapolis, MN
Installation: Bob Gallo, Psionics, Lee’s Summit, MO
The first priority for the College Basketball Experience was to offer guest and event clients a clear, bright and impressive display that would accommodate current and emerging technologies. This required upgrading the existing analog routing and cabling for the Center Court area along with the installation of a new display.
“Our early discussion was on replacing the Christie projector with a display bright enough to be clear and sharp during daytime events when the court area receives significant daylight through an 80 foot wide window overlooking the court,” says Evans. “As we further discussed the upgrade to HD and accommodation of 4k, we decided on a Prime View video wall with a Wyrestorm video processor that would allow us to display up to 4 sources on the wall in various configurations.”
Joe Nickell, Principal Design Consultant at AV Plus Design, had been supporting the College Basketball Experience with support and upgrades for the control systems since 2008, so he was well aware of the considerations and needs of the space.
“As time has gone on, the projector had limitations,” says Nickell. “Because it was projection and a screen was required, it could only be used for special events in the evening. It couldn’t be used in the day time. They were projecting on a large, 16-foot screen, and at that size it meant the lights had to be subdued. It didn’t really provide a high contrast image in a highly lit environment. Overall, we wanted to be able to embrace HD imagery and also have a bright, beautiful image in daylight conditions. The obvious choice was a video wall system.” AV Design chose a Crestron DM series for HD Base T switching, giving access to various computer sources, media players and cable boxes.
The on-site build and installation was allotted five days to complete installation of the video wall, processor, new rack equipment and new cabling, which included removing analog cable and installing new digital cable. Installation began with the removal of a six by eight foot scoreboard that was in the middle of the 15 foot wide structure the video wall would be installed on. After removal of the scoreboard, AV Design added the appropriate structural elements necessary for putting the video display mounts in place. As the video wall would use a new PC based scoreboard, AV Design also removed the shot clocks above the goals and replaced them with video displays that would integrate with the PC scoreboard.
“The CBE hosts over 100 special events of all kinds on an annual basis,” says Evans. “The addition of this video wall and all its bells and whistles enhances our technology offerings and improves delivery of the visual experience for both small and large-format events. It separates The CBE from local competitors who cannot provide this level of technology in their venues thus setting The CBE apart from the rest in a positive way. It positions The CBE further as a special place with special offerings that are in-line with current business presentation needs furthering demand for use of our space as a special event venue available for lease.
“Our staff, customers and event clients are all extremely pleased with the new video wall.”