MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University will be adding new advertising displays to the WVU Coliseum complex and Milan Puskar Stadium to improve the fan experience, provide additional revenue and update and improve both facilities.
The addition of "light emitting diode" (LED) and digital displays are part of WVU's multimedia rights contract with IMG College signed last year. The WVU Board of Governors approved the project on Feb. 21.
Under the contract, IMG will provide an initial $2.5 million in capital funds to WVU Athletics to cover consulting, design and purchasing costs for additional advertising displays. These projects will generate branding and advertising opportunities to expand WVU’s national recognition among Division I schools and within the Big 12 Conference. The purchases also will make the two facilities more competitive nationally in terms of digital revenue opportunities.
The next step in the process will be the selection of an audio/video consultant to determine the best investment of the initial $2.5 million, and to assist athletics in the procurement and construction of the selected improvements.
One project for the Coliseum is the installation of a marquee located between Monongahela Boulevard and the Coliseum parking lot near the Patteson Drive intersection. Pending Division of Highways approval and meeting all guidelines set forth by the DOH, the marquee will serve not only the Coliseum, but the Creative Arts Center, WVU Arts and Entertainment and WVU Hospitals with information on upcoming events and ticket availability.
“An electronic marquee would be wonderful in terms of helping to sell tickets and announce coming attractions for the Creative Arts Center and the Coliseum,” said Eric Andrews, Director of WVU Arts and Entertainment. “Our take is that we have always needed a marquee to highlight events, and it seems like we have been talking about it for 20 years. Once it becomes a reality, people will grow accustomed to it and it will be good for the community.”
Paul Kreider, Dean of the Creative Arts Center also sees great benefits from the new marquee.
"An electronic marquee at the corner of Mon Boulevard and Patteson Drive will become a landmark for those persons seeking information about events at two of the most public-accessed buildings on the Evansdale campus,” Kreider said. “The Creative Arts Center boasts more than 300 events per year. This effort will be a wonderful new way to provide consumers knowledge of the great things happening in WVU athletics and creative arts."
The marquee will also be able to provide video and high-resolution graphics, but must follow the guidelines set forth by the DOH in terms of video usage. One thing is for certain, what was wishful thinking for years because of cost, will soon become reality thanks to additional funds.
“We all know that a marquee would be a great addition to the Coliseum and the surrounding venues, but it is also a costly addition,” Director of Athletics Oliver Luck said. “Thanks to our new multimedia rights contract with IMG, funds are now available under our capital expenditure clause to look into this kind of expensive addition. Because of our partnership with IMG, $6 million alone over the life of the contract will go to capital upgrades such as the marquee and digital signage at the stadium.”
All plans currently are conceptual and subject to change. In the coming weeks, WVU officials and IMG will meet to finalize plans and electronic additions to the Coliseum and Milan Puskar Stadium