The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the project budget for Memorial Stadium Fan Experience Improvements at its Friday meeting. The $12.3 million project will replace the stadium’s existing sound system and install a wireless network system to improve connectivity.
“We are very appreciative of Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s support and The Board of Regents’ approval of the Memorial Stadium Fan Experience Improvement Project,” Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said. “This most important project will install a new sound system and wireless network inside Memorial Stadium. These improvements are designed to provide the best college football fans in America with the best game-day experience possible. It is important that we continually strive to improve our fan experience in each of our athletic venues and this project is a big step in that direction.”
The existing sound system at Memorial Stadium is more than 20 years old, and while still functional, the normal life expectancy of such systems is 15 years. The project will replace the sound system with a new, single-point source sound system housed in the north end zone. Initial design concepts for the sound system call for multiple speaker arrays and cabinets that will be attached to the top and sides of the HuskerVision screen on the roof of the Osborne Athletic Complex.
The new sound system will allow fans in all parts of the stadium to enjoy the full Nebraska football game-day experience, including HuskerVision features, public address announcements and other audio and video features.
Installation of a wireless network system (WiFi) at Memorial Stadium is the second component of the Memorial Stadium Fan Experience Improvement Project. The explosive growth of smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices in the past decade has fueled demand for continuous connectivity. In past years, connectivity and cell phone service at Memorial Stadium has been limited.
The new wireless network system will allow fans better access to Internet applications from their smartphones regardless of carrier or location, which should relieve stress to cellular networks for voice calls and text messaging. Nebraska Athletics plans to develop a new, all-encompassing Memorial Stadium game-day smartphone application that will include video features, dynamic location-based services and an engaging mobile platform.
Additionally, this project will replace the existing flag poles atop North Stadium with taller, larger poles that accommodate larger display flags which will be more visible from both inside and outside the Stadium.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in March and conclude before the start of the 2014 season. Funding for this project comes from premium seating contributions. Nebraska opens the 2014 football season against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 30 at Memorial Stadium.