Conseco Fieldhouse should be sporting new interior video signage before the Indiana Pacers start the regular season in late October.
The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County on Monday approved spending up to $1.6 million for a “ribbon board,” which will be installed around the entire upper fascia of the arena between the second and third levels.
Conseco Fieldhouse is one of only two National Basketball Association arenas without that type of signage (Arco Arena in Sacramento is the other), which typically is used for advertisements and other announcements.
In Indianapolis, Lucas Oil Stadium has similar signage, said Rick Fuson, executive vice president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the basketball team.
“It’s advertising revenue and the whole experience,” he said. “It gives us the ability to give much more information to the people who are at the event.”
In addition, the four panels atop the scoreboard in the center of the fieldhouse that scroll messages will be replaced with LED lamps. That will enable the panels and the new LED message board to interface with the scorer’s table and perform similar functions at the same time, Fuson said.
The new message board will be paid for by the $3.5 million the CIB allocated toward Conseco Fieldhouse renovations as part of its agreement with Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
The CIB in July agreed to give the franchise $10 million per year for three years, specifically to defray the costs of operating the fieldhouse. The CIB also agreed to pay at least $3.5 million for capital improvements at the venue.
The $3.5 million is included in the 2011 budget, although the message board will be paid for by next year. The CIB could pay for the message board with funds available this year or subtract the amount from next year’s budget, President Ann Lathrop said.
The Pacers open the season on the road against the San Antonio Spurs Oct. 27. The team’s first home game is Oct. 30 against the Philadelphia 76ers.