Penn to Install Video Boards at the Palestra, We Brainstorm Further Ideas for Modernization

Penn to Install Video Boards at the Palestra, We Brainstorm Further Ideas for Modernization
August 23, 2011, 8:40 am
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Miss something? See it on replay! Finally...

The University of Pennsylvania announced Monday that its famed Palestra would soon be joining the 21st century thanks to a partnership with ANC Sports Enterprises and the addition of two new "Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision" video boards. According to the University's press release, the new displays will replace the conventional scoreboards mounted on the walls behind each basket.

Thankfully, for those of you worried that the technological advancements might in some way diminish or cheapen the Palestra's famed look, the University has ensured that the update will do its best to preserve "the traditional atmosphere of the venue." Via UPenn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky:

"We are being extremely careful to enhance the game-day environment while not disturbing the integirty of The Palestra, including using technology that is capable of creating a nostalgic feel."

For reference, the boards are described as similar to that of the out-of-town scoreboard at Safeco Field in Seattle. Per the release:

"ANC's unique VisionSOFTTM operating system will enable the displays to mimic the look of the current fixed digit scoreboards, feature in-depth statistical analysis, or dissolve into full-motion video of memorable events which make up The Palestra's storied history. The patented software is also capable of creating the appeal of an old manually turned scoreboard, a unique feature which enabled the Seattle Mariners' out-of-town scoreboard to be named the best in Major League Baseball by ESPN.com."

It really is about time for this sort of addition. Even though it can fun to sit there like a snob and laugh at the people who missed something because they weren't paying attention, there are countless other times when you just want see it again for yourself. Bravo to the University for finding a way to update the Cathedral without compromising its character.

Speaking of which, is there any chance you guys at Penn might want to continue down this path and make a few more not-so-great leaps forward? The
$2-million dollar remodeling project known as "Palestra 2000" did
little to solve any of the building's actual issues, opting instead to
play on the its history by turning the concourse walls into a
mini-museum. As an odd yet semi-relevant aside, doesn't literally everything once-slapped with the suffix "2000" seem outrageously dated now only eleven years later?

For our own pet project—"Palestra 2011"—accepting debit and credit cards seems like a good start. I mean really, if you can figure out the wiring for a 24-foot video board, we shouldn't be totally screwed if we're cash-less. Moreover, while standing in line to pee in the janitor's sink has a certain charm the first few times, it's really just not cool anymore.

Obviously, we realize the building has structural issues that really can't be rectified (there really isn't room for additional bathrooms and the width of the corridors are stuck as they are). I personally should also clarify before I'm criticized as lacking a certain local pride—I love the place. There's absolutely nowhere I'd rather watch a basketball game. Still, as patrons of the arena, lovers of basketball and fans of the Big 5, we all have our hopes for the place moving forward.

If you could change one thing about the Palestra (obviously within reason, given the practical limitations), what would it be?

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