Dramatic improvements in fan experience amenities and game atmosphere will highlight upgrades to Bramlage Coliseum, as K-State Athletics announced that a new high-definition Panasonic center-hung video board, six additional LED displays and a state-of-the-art, innovative lighting and sound systems will be installed this fall.
In keeping with its goal of providing The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12, K-State Athletics partnered with Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon and Williams, Inc. (WJHW), one of the top acoustical consulting and electronic systems design firms in the country, to manage the project, which will begin later this summer and be completed in October. WJHW, which is based out of Dallas, is well known for its work in sports, convention centers and concert venues.
"We are excited to announce these improvements to Bramlage Coliseum as we continue to provide The Best Fan Experience in the Big 12," said Director of Athletics John Currie. "These additions will greatly enhance our gameday atmosphere at Bramlage which is already one of the best in the Big 12 and in all of college basketball. We're excited for all of K-State Nation to fill Bramlage in 2014-15 and experience these new enhancements."
The focus of the nearly $2.4 million in enhancements will be the unique Panasonic center-hung 25'x 18' SMD LED videoboard, which will have a display more than four times larger than the existing videoboard in Bramlage Coliseum. The four-sided videoboard features a 6mm high-definition display on each face with a 5-foot upper ring and 2-foot, 4-inch lower ring for statistics, crowd engagement and sponsor integration.
Six additional 6mm LED displays will be installed above the seating on the north and south ends of the arena with three located above Sections 12-15 on the north end and three above Section 24 to Section 1 on the south end. These displays will provide additional opportunities for crowd engagement, out of town scores and sponsor integration. The total cost of the main video board and six LED displays will be $1.4 million.
Additionally, the system will be powered by Panasonic's next generation of LED controller. Based on the same software that all major sports networks around the world use, this exclusive solution generates real-time graphics and animation in true three-dimensional space. This creates among the most dynamic presentations of statistics, graphics and interactive features seen at any college venue.
"K-State Athletics' commitment to providing the best fan experience in the Big 12 is clear in this initiative," said Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company Richard Ballard. "We share that commitment to excellence and use our technology and know-how to engineer a better fan experience. The center-hung videoboard and displays deliver content unparalleled in clarity and resolution, allowing thousands of loyal fans to experience the excitement and action in the arena up close and personal."
The sound system in Bramlage Coliseum will be replaced with the best of class in modern audio equipment, including nearly 100 total loudspeakers, and utilize the latest amplifier and digital signal processing with more than 200,000 watts of amplification. The increased speaker locations will provide for more distribution of sound, while also improving audio clarity throughout the arena. The project will be managed by Pro Media/UltraSound and cost $660,000.
"The modernization of the Bramlage Coliseum sound system is going to enable a vibrant and additive game day element to what is already an exciting fan experience," said project manager Ted Leamy. "Our technology group is very excited to participate in the technology refit of this iconic collegiate venue."
The new LED lighting system will provide a more efficient and higher quality of output in the arena and allows for special effects during pregame introductions and during special halftime shows and recognitions. The project will be directed by Musco Lighting and cost approximately $300,000.
The improvements will mark the first to Bramlage Coliseum since the construction of the $18 million Basketball Training Facility to the east side in August 2012 and the first significant renovation to the interior of the arena since the addition of Loge Boxes in 2007. The new video boards and sound system replace existing ones last renovated in 2000-01.
"Our players and staff couldn't be more excited about these updates to Bramlage Coliseum," said head men's basketball coach Bruce Weber. "Obviously, when you make improvements to your facilities with new technology, it brings great energy to a program. It was the case with the Basketball Training Facility a few years back and I'm sure it will be the same for our fans at Bramlage. We already have one of the top gameday atmospheres in the country and these improvements will only make it a more intimidating place for opponents."
Funding for the upgrades will be made through general athletic department revenue without the aid of tax, tuition or general university dollars. These improvements are yet another example of the margin of excellence provided by the generous support of Ahearn Fund donors and season ticket holders.
Bramlage Coliseum has given K-State one of the top home atmospheres in the country, as the men's and women's basketball teams have combined to win nearly 75 percent of its games in the arena's 26-year history.
The men's team has played in front of an average of more than 12,000 fans for four consecutive seasons at Bramlage Coliseum and has ranked among the nation's Top 35 in average attendance five times in the last seven years. The women's squad has annually played before strong home crowds, as they ranked 23rd nationally in average attendance in 2013-14. It marked the 11th time in the last 13 seasons that K-State has finished among the Top 35 in attendance.
"We have a great environment in Bramlage Coliseum and it just keeps getting better and better," said head women's basketball coach Jeff Mittie. "I think we are doing the right thing by enhancing that environment and the fans' ability to see replays and all the bells and whistles that all the fans want now in arenas. We are going to have every available tool for that experience."
Men's and women's basketball season tickets for the 2014-15 season go on sale Monday, June 23 with a variety of ticket packages available. Season-ticket holders will have until Friday, August 1 to arrange payment and retain their seats for the upcoming season. New full season-ticket requests will be handled utilizing the K-State Priority Points system, which rewards fans for their history of season ticket purchases and contributions to the Ahearn Fund.
The partnership will extend to Bill Snyder Family Stadium, as K-State Athletics will consult with WJHW and Panasonic as well as Populous, which is serving as the architect of the Vanier Football Complex and North End Project, to study and finalize future video and sound improvements to the stadium.