Omaha, NE - The CenturyLink's latest addition is a six million dollar toy. A 27 by 32 foot wide scoreboard complete with 3,467 square feet of LED's. The CenturyLink claims it's the only venue outside of professional leagues to have 4mm video displays.
The scoreboard isn't the only new technology at the arena, the video control room; ribbon panels and indoor/outdoor signage were also upgraded.
According to MECA, it's the beginning of a list of improvements, including concessions and seat upgrades. MECA says every ten years the center makes upgrades to keep the arena top of the line. The latest unveiling comes just two weeks before Lincoln debuts their new Pinnacle Bank arena.
MECA president Roger Dixon says the CenturyLink had already planned on investing in a new score board. "We're going to compete against (the Pinnacle Bank arena) so we want to stay up to date, whether (they were) there or not, we would have been doing this," says Dixon.
Both Omaha and Lincoln scoreboards are HD, the difference, the CenturyLink's has more pixels and a better resolution according to Daktronics sales rep, Matt Warnke. "It's the first of its kind in the country at a non-professional sports level facility to utilize those technologies." It's NBA and NHL technology in an NCAA arena.
The Omaha sports commission says the CenturyLink's new scoreboard is one reason the city won the bid for the Olympic swim trials of 2016. "To stay current and to raise the bar when we host events, it's important to have technology that fits the bill," says sports commissioner Herold Cliff.
The new scoreboard will mainly be used for sporting events and some non-sport events but will likely not be used for concerts. MECA paid for the board with capitol reserve funds, no taxpayer dollars were used.