By Kevin Strauss, Media Relations Assistant
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. –
The Matadome, home to the Cal State Northridge basketball and volleyball programs, has undergone significant renovations ahead of the 2012-13 season. A new floor, air conditioning, and visual upgrades completed this past summer have given the Matadome its first significant makeover in a decade.
“The improvements in the Matadome are significant for our athletics program,” said Director of Athletics Rick Mazzuto. “They greatly enhance the customer experience and will make it a more fun place to be for our students, student-athletes, alumni and fans.”
“The air conditioning project is big for the university,” said Associate Vice President of Facilities Development and Operations Colin Donahue. “Through a deferred maintenance project we were able to add a cooling component to our heating and ventilating system to drastically improve the experiences for our fans and student-athletes, especially for women’s volleyball.”
Last season, new baskets and shot clocks were installed for basketball games as well as new press row tables, video display boards, a scoreboard above center court, and wall graphics. With a brand new floor and redesigned court, the Matadome receives a dramatic overhaul just in time for the 50th anniversary of the first home game played in the facility this November.
“The condition of the floor was deteriorating so we did a full replacement,” added Donahue. “Through the Campus Quality Fee, we were able to replace the floor and add the electrical and technical infrastructure needed to support our scoreboard, scoring tables, video boards and replay systems. We paid a lot of attention to the graphics on the floor to achieve a dramatic look that makes it one of the better courts visually in Division I.”
Fans will notice wall graphics on the east end of the Matadome commemorating Cal State Northridge’s postseason successes and a mural of fans cheering on the Matadors. Some fans in the silhouette display American Sign Language signs in a tribute to the nationally renowned National Center On Deafness (NCOD) located on campus.
“The first project we did involved the graphics,” said Donahue. “They were the lowest cost and immediately enhance the fan and student-athlete experience in the Matadome.”
In addition, a new public address system was installed and portions of the north-side seats were repaired. The upgrades help modernize the facility and improve the quality of experience for practices and competition for the men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball teams, officials and fans.
New renovations also allow for the expanded use of live video for all competitions.
“We are implementing professional video capabilities, which will control the video boards, and score table displays as well as add a new dimension for real-time content,” said Director of Administrative Services Chris Xanthos. “We installed seven new camera locations, in addition to two new remote volleyball cameras, that will allow us to display live camera and replays on the video boards, as well as provide live feeds for BigWest.TV and local broadcasts. We are now able to easily implement the instant replay system being instituted by the Big West Conference for the 2012/13 basketball season.”
“The athletics department and the university are in the process of setting up an internship program with the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication for camera, studio and broadcast work,” added Xanthos. “Our goal is to involve students and add an educational component so they can gain experience working live sporting events.”
Previously the facility had a new floor installed in 1996 with a redesign in 2001, and added the center-court scoreboard in 1997 and chair-backed seats in 1998. Although the Matadome has a new look for the upcoming year, the improvements are not done yet.
“This is a foundational project that lays the groundwork for the professional video component that will be going in over the next few months,” said Xanthos. “We now have the capability of having live camera work for our athletic competitions that we were unable to have before.”
“We are also looking at improving the main lobby for the Matadome with a new design,” said Donahue. “We are also focusing on upgrading the bleacher seating on both sides of the court.”