Assembly Hall, which has been a part of IU since 1970, is going from outdated to state of the art with the addition of a new $1.99 million scoreboard/video board, IU Athletics Director Rick Greenspan announced Tuesday.\nThe project is being financed by IU Sports Properties through the IU Foundation over a 10-year period. The project will not cost the athletics department any out-of-pocket expense.\nIn addition to the new system, the athletics department is slated to receive $250,000 in revenue in the first year.\nAccording to IU Sports Properties General Manager Bob Agramonte, Regions Bank and State Farm Insurance have already committed to be a significant part of the project.\nWhile Assembly Hall has signage in its concourses and network advertising when games are on television, the new advertising will be a first for men's games. \nFor the past 11 seasons IU's scoreboard and timing system could not show video and individual's statistics. During close games, the Hoosiers were without the most current technology as the timing equipment allowed only tenths of seconds. With the addition of the new scoreboard, fans will not only know how much time is left in the game to the hundredth of a second, but they will also know how many points players on the court have as well as video screens to watch the game.\nKeeping Assembly Hall pristine as well as advancing the technology in the arena was an important consideration, Greenspan said in a statement.\n"We are looking to create a positive fan experience, while still preserving the distinct look of Assembly Hall," he said. "The new scoreboard/video board system will be a great addition for our fans, and will allow them to enjoy the experience of attending an IU game more than ever."\nOverall, there will be a new scoreboard/video board system with four video screens, four video/scoring/statistic screens, one center-hung ProAd ring, five ProTable scorer's table units, four auxiliary portal scoreboards, and three-sided shot clocks with a new scoring \nsystem.\nThe new system comes as part of a renegotiation with IU Sports Properties, the exclusive media and advertising rights holder for IU athletics.\nWhile grad student David Marshall isn't sure how Assembly Hall will look with the new scoreboard, he said it seems about time IU took this kind of step.\n"It seems that a scoreboard like this is a little more up to date," Marshall said. "It seems timely and fitting of IU and the status of the program."\nWith the new system, the Hoosiers will be joining an elite group to use this technology. Only the University of North Carolina uses similar ProTable technology and Wisconsin is the only school in the Big Ten to have center-hung ProAd ring.\nThe old scoreboards were lowered Tuesday afternoon. The new one is expected to weigh 26,000 pounds, dwarfing the old mid-court scoreboard, which weighed only 6,700 pounds. As a result of the heavier scoreboard, $800,000 will be spent to strengthen the roof to support the new scoreboard.\nWhile there has been some concern about how Assembly Hall would look with a new scoreboard with advertising, sophomore Phillip Sanders is OK with it as long as it is done in the right way, he said.\n"It is definitely more revenue and anything (the athletics department) can do to help out they should do," Sanders said. "If the advertising is done in a good way and it isn't cheesy or whatever and they put some thought behind it, then I am all for it."\nThe revenue will be a welcome sight for an athletics department that has been in the red for some time. According to the U.S. Department of Education's Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, IU athletics had a $492,060 deficit for the 2003-2004 school year.\nThe board of trustees recently approved the renewal of the $30 athletics fee for the 2005-2006 school year by a 6-2 vote.\nThe Associated Press contributed to this story.
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