Seen and heard at McKale Center

Seen and heard at McKale Center

2014-01-03T00:00:00Z 2014-01-03T21:54:09Z Seen and heard at McKale CenterJonathan Gold Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

500,000 pixels of fun

Arizona chiropractors may get a boost in business this year after Wildcat games.

There are going to be quite a few cricked necks.

McKale Center debuted its massive new video board on Thursday night for the team’s Pac-12 opening matchup, and, judging by the oohs and aahs from the bleachers, reviews were positive.

Just as Arizona wanted, and needed.

“A video screen like this, we consider it a necessity,” assistant athletic director for video and information technology Matt George said. “It’s not here to draw fans, it’s here to keep fans. It keeps the fans excited. The game that’s going on the court brings fans to the arena; our job is to keep them entertained when they’re here, hopefully make them want to stay the whole game.

“Really, it’s just about having fun.”

And fun it showed, all 500,000-plus pixels of it as the Wildcats built a three-touchdown halftime lead at 28-7.

There were a pair of dunks by Kaleb Tarczewski, enlarged and in charge, and dagger three-pointers by Nick Johnson and Gabe York that looked even better on replay.

Two years of research and development went into the project, with George looking across the country for comparison. An executive team took ideas from Michigan, Notre Dame and Oregon, among others, to come up with a design that George said was “stacked like a deluxe hamburger.”

It’s the McKale Big Mac, only big, big, as in: 18 feet by 10 feet per screen, 960 pixels by 540 pixels — more than 500,000 in total per screen — with two 3-foot rings on the top and bottom that measure 97 and 63 feet in circumference, respectively.

To compare: The old video board was 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall, with just over 40,000 pixels.

By Thursday night, the board was about 90 percent complete, George said, with work still needed to be done on the cladding. It was hung Dec. 26, in time for the first images to be shown, some of the first of which were the football program’s 42-19 AdvoCare V100 Bowl win over Boston College.

The project, awarded to the Panasonic Solutions Group, cost roughly $1.5 million to $2 million.

“We were very budget-friendly with the board,” George said. “It’s not an exorbitant amount of money. It’s very competitive in the market.”

George said the video board was viewed as “phase zero” in McKale Center’s major renovation, which is expected to cost around $80 million when completed.”

No Black Friday deals?

A fan sitting near the court for the matchup was in awe of the video board on Thursday night, and he might want to check out the next Best Buy specials.

“That’s bigger than my TV at home!” he exclaimed.

Big number

9.5 percent

Without two starters, including leading scorer DaVonté Lacy, Washington State shot just 9.5 percent in the first half.

Tweet of the night

“Sean Miller should force Arizona to run a suicide for every point the Wildcats allow over 10.” — @ZackBlatt (Daily Star sportswriter Zack Rosenblatt)

Putting it in reverse

McKale Center had a lot to cheer for defensively early in Arizona’s blowout of Washington State, but the Cats also had a beautiful reverse layup by T.J. McConnell off an even prettier pass from Johnson with 4:18 left in the first half.

Jon Gold

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Arizona State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
California 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Colorado 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Oregon State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Stanford 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
UCLA 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
USC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Utah 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000
Washington State 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 0.000

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Azusa Pacific at
Washington State
11/7 12:00 am
Cal Poly Pomona at
Arizona
11/9 4:00 pm
Mount St. Mary's at
Arizona
11/14 6:00 pm
Coppin State at
Oregon
11/14 10:00 pm
Detroit at
Oregon
11/17 9:00 pm
Cal-Irvine at
Arizona
11/19 7:00 pm
Oral Roberts at
Oregon State
11/21 7:00 pm
Texas-Pan American at
Utah
11/26 6:00 pm
Northern Colorado at
Colorado
12/13 4:00 pm
Washington State at
Santa Clara
12/13 8:00 pm
Grambling at
Oregon State
12/15 8:00 pm
Grambling at
Washington
12/17 9:00 pm
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