Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, MN

Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota is a 6,000-seat hockey arena named in honor of Herb Brooks, a former St. Cloud State University and U.S. Olympic coach. Built in 1990, the center is home to SCSU’s Huskies men’s and women’s ice hockey Division I teams, is used for student recreation activities, and hosts nearby St. John’s University men’s hockey home games.

The facility had undergone several modernizations in recent years, including a major expansion in 2013 and the addition of a strength and conditioning center a few years later. The latest upgrade was to the facility’s scoreboards and sound systems. “Both of our St. Cloud State hockey programs compete at elite levels and we wanted a facility that reflected this,” said Andrew Melroe, assistant athletics director for strategic communications at St. Cloud State University. “Our old electronic displays really limited what we were able to show during games, and even high-quality videos looked grainy on the old boards. The fan experience really suffered.”

The university selected Watchfire to provide 10 videoboards to deliver a truly digital experience to the venue. They include two massive 15' x 44' high-resolution displays located behind the goals, a 3' x 11' two-sided centerhung display, and above the facility’s entrances are six 2' x 11' video displays. All were installed by Scenic Sign Corp.

The large videoboards behind the goals replaced old fixed-digit scoreboards. The new state-of-the-art videoboards are easily zoned to include game video in the center, areas for sponsors and ads flanking the video, and a banner of game information and stats at the bottom. During pre-game, the boards promote upcoming events, run sponsor ads, and showcase hype videos of athletes as they enter the rink. The videoboards have wide viewing angles, providing exceptional sight lines to every seat for live video and instant replays.

The video displays are used for sponsor recognition and are highly visual during games and as spectators exit the venue, allowing the facility to bring in additional sponsorship revenue. The centerhung display adds energy above the rink, showcasing school logos, scores, time, and penalty information. They are aligned with the suite seating level, providing a premium experience for fans and corporate outings.

The upgraded audio system includes speakers strategically placed at the rink, lower bleacher, and upper bleacher levels. Husky Productions, a student-run production group, creates the content for games and operates the videoboards.

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