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Control room moves from control truck to arena

Oklahoman Modified: September 20, 2009 at 12:12 am •  Published: September 20, 2009
Last year, Thunder officials had to rent a production truck to run the scoreboard for home games last season.

This season, a new control room located in the upper deck will run programs on a new $3.8 million scoreboard.

"This control room is state-of-the-art equipment,” said Ford Center general manager Gary Desjardins. "When you say state-of-the-art, sometimes it’s a trite phrase. But this is the best available.

"It’s something that should have already been in the building. We had a small (control room) when the building first opened (in 2002). But an NBA team needs much more. That’s why they had to use a truck last year.”

After five months of renovations, the most noticeable change for most fans will be the new 31-foot tall, 35-feet wide scoreboard that features 10 all-digital video panels.

"The scoreboard will be the centerpiece for everyone in the building,” Byrnes said. "All the video panels and digital panels have been improved, including the LED ring around the entire arena.”

One unique aspect is the "Bennett wedge,” essentially a "second” scoreboard attached to the bottom to enhance viewing for players, coaches and fans who sit near the court, an idea hatched by team chairman Clay Bennett.

"Clay’s inspiration was to deliver the game video experience for everyone,” said Brian Byrnes, vice president of ticket sales and services. "No other NBA team has this.”

To gain true appreciation for the new scoreboard, much smaller video boards from the old scoreboard have been placed in the upper deck on each end.