LOUISVILLE, Ky. — ASM Global-managed KFC Yum! Center unveiled a major renovation in progress at the facility that includes dynamic video, audio, and broadcast upgrades, updated concession stand branding, and brand-new carpet throughout the arena. The project began in June 2021, after an exhaustive RFP process, and will be complete this Fall.
The all-new digital experience will significantly enhance the fan atmosphere and drive incremental revenue opportunities for the arena. The amenities will enhance the atmosphere of multiple events held at the facility including the University of Louisville basketball games, NCAA championship events, concerts, family shows, and more.
These upgrades will also provide new opportunities for sponsors, as the project will create additional inventory for the KFC Yum! Center’s sponsorship team to build revenue in this category.
LED and Broadcast Upgrades
The Louisville Arena Authority selected ANC, an experience design and execution company, to launch a dynamic video renovation. Boasting 12,000 square feet of LED, the new multimedia displays will showcase the action on the court, in between basketball plays and on-stage during concerts in grander fashion and at a significantly higher quality. Display content between all fixtures will be seamlessly synchronized and operated by ANC’s award-winning vSOFT™ operating system. This commitment to a significant square footage of fine pitch LED displays ensures optimum experiences in the arena’s seating locations – experiences that rival in-home viewing and provide a tremendous return on investment for the renovation. The renovation also includes 42 new locations of LED vomitory displays capable of synchronizing with the venue’s courtside LED displays and 360-degree ribbon boards to create a fully immersive in-bowl experience.
But the highlight of the project is a massive new six-display center-hung video system in the arena, which Anthony James Partners custom designed in collaboration with Louisville Arena Authority, KFC Yum! Center and University of Louisville staff. The screen is three times larger than the arena’s original scoreboard and the new technology provides more than double the pixels of the previous display system resulting in clearer, higher resolution technology.
The upgrade is complemented by a new scoring system and software for scoring (OES). The scoreboards in the practice court will be replaced along with the shot clocks on the arena goals. Scoring in the arena bowl will now be displayed on the LED Center-hung screens and the new ribbon displays being installed.
Installed and programmed by Performance Audio with assistance from Louisville-based Sound Ideas, LLC, the new Samsung audio system will provide the arena with easier setup and control of the events that take place in the facility. The upgrade features a new Lenear Array Speaker system, network switches, amplifiers, and arena bowl speakers. The meeting rooms have been updated with state-of-the-art local controls through local touchscreens while a new, fully redundant network delivers all the audio to the bowl and all the surrounding areas. With the updated mixing consoles and remote stage boxes, the arena is ready to support any touring act or special event by providing expanded and modernized means of interfaces for any event. The all-digital audio network allows the venue to provide a clearer audio experience to guests, with enhanced control for technicians.
The project also includes the addition of SMPTE fiber to each JBT box, this allows Broadcasters to use true HD quality cameras. The Triax solution currently in place will only allow a 720p signal, and the upgrades allow the KFC Yum! Center to accommodate a true 1080i signal to each camera. Other improvements include an all-new Switcher, Xpression Studio (graphic generator), video router all manufactured by Ross the industry leader in Broadcast technology. A Dreamcatcher replay system, RTS comms, Hitachi cameras with Ikegami lenses will also be added.
Yum! Brands Concession Updates
As part of their naming rights contract renewal through 2031, Yum! Brands worked closely with the Louisville Arena Authority to give their KFC Yum! Center concession stands for a more modern, updated look. VGS, Everbrite, Gary Longest Construction, and Louisville-based Derby City Sign & Electric, Inc. worked to design, engineer, and install the project which will greet fans with appealing visuals in the arena. In total, seven Yum! Brands concession stands and the Main Concourse KFC bucket were remodeled, and the KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut logos will be updated with current versions of the logos on the arena’s exterior this Fall. The rooftop KFC Yum! Center logo will also be updated as part of this project.
The Louisville Arena Authority is working with Sam Kinnaird, from Louisville, to install all new carpets throughout the arena. An impressive 130,000 square of feet of carpet is being installed in all 75 premium suites, 70 premium boxes, and various lounges and other spaces throughout the facility. The previous carpet was installed when the venue was first built in 2010 and had reached the end of its life expectancy and these upgrades will give the arena a more comfortable, modern look and feel.
Project Costs and Savings
The total cost for all projects is under $8 million. The venue anticipates significant energy and utility cost savings from the new LED equipment; however, at this time an actual figure is not quantifiable.
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