Northern Illinois will install a new scoreboard and audio system, and add ribbon boards on the east and west sides, at Huskie Stadium for the 2013 season, NIU officials announced Tuesday.
The improvements will significantly upgrade the fan experience at Huskie Stadium, home of the back-to-back Mid-American Conference Champion Northern Illinois Huskies and the 2013 Illinois High School Association state football championships.
NIU head coach Rod Carey said the improvements will make Huskie Stadium an even more exciting place to be in 2013.
“We are really excited about the scoreboards and audio system at Huskie Stadium,” Carey said. “We already have one of the best home crowds in the MAC and a 21-game winning streak on Brigham Field, so I’m happy we’re able to make these improvements to make game day even better for our fans.”
The new Daktronics LED Video Display scoreboard will have an active area that measures 15.5 feet high and 39.5 feet wide, which is nearly double the width and slightly taller than the video display of the current board, which was installed in 2000.
The display area can be programmed to provide different looks throughout the game – from game in progress information (score, down and distance, time outs, etc.) to full video display to sponsor and promotional messages. The game clock will be part of the permanent display at the top of the structure.
The scoreboard is a 15mm HD unit which uses a newer LED technology consistent with current industry standards for high definition video. The video display will be sharper with better color saturation and more detail visible in both graphics and video. Flanking the display area will be four static backlight panels – two across the top on the left and right and two in the lower quadrants on each side.
On the backside of the scoreboard, a permanent staircase and camera platform will replace the existing scaffolding, providing a much safer structure for staff, television crew members and opponents’ from which to film the game. NIU will continue to use a robotic video coaching camera system with high definition-ready cameras in each end zone for practices.
Daktronics will also install the redesigned audio system which will greatly enhance the sound quality for all fans at Huskie Stadium. The new system will provide more dynamic sound quality to the East and West grandstands than the current sound system. Features of the audio system include new speakers, cabinets, drivers, audio boards and microphones which will result in improved clarity for both music and public address.
One of the most visible changes to the stadium for 2013 will be the addition of Daktronics LED Ribbon Fascia Boards on the east and west sides. The ribbon boards are 100 feet wide, stretching approximately between the 35-yard lines, providing 20mm HD graphics. Mounted on the existing structure, the ribbon boards are programmable for advertising and sponsor graphics, fan prompts and game-in-progress updates (scores, down, distance).
The scoreboard project also includes the construction of a HD Single Video Control Room in the Convocation Center, which will eventually control the scoreboards in both Huskie Stadium and in the Convocation Center through use of a fiber network.
The control room will allow NIU Media Services personnel to better direct the HD production of the game, create new and exciting graphics and integrate information between all the scoreboards.
Construction on the project – both at Huskie Stadium and in the Convocation Center – will start this spring and the scoreboards, graphics and audio system will make their debut Saturday, Sept. 21, at NIU’s 2013 football season home opener versus Eastern Illinois.
Season tickets for NIU’s 2013 home schedule are on sale now. For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.