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New LED Video Board Drives Excitement at the University of Portland Chiles Center

The University of Portland (UP) is a private, nationally-recognized university located in Portland, Ore., with about 4,000 students. Athletics at the university—the UP Pilots—compete at the NCAA Division I level and comprise 16 intercollegiate teams. The Pilots basketball and volleyball programs hold their home games and matches at the Chiles Center, a domed facility on the northern edge of campus with a seating capacity of 4,852. In mid-2018, the UP Athletics program identified the need to modernize their four-sided center-hung video board in the Chiles Center. The previous board had become outdated and wasn't delivering the level of performance they had come to expect.

With the intent to energize the arena, provide greater support for student athletes and create more opportunities for their video production department, UP upgraded their video board with LED display technology from Planar installing a Planar CarbonLight™ CLI Series LED video wall with a 3.9mm pixel pitch (CLI3.9) in a four-sided video board configuration.

The Planar CarbonLight CLI Series is a line of lightweight and flexible LED video wall solutions that easily fit to a wide range of applications. Engineered with a thin, high-strength and patented carbon fiber construction, the LED displays can be adapted into complex and unique designs such as corner-beveled and even smoothly curved video walls

Elevating the fan experience

The upgraded LED video board has dramatically enhanced the in-arena presentation of sporting events at the Chiles Center, according to Jason Brough, UP associate athletic director, public relations and digital media.

"The immediate impact is really noticeable—it's created a whole new vibe in the arena," Brough said. "During a time out, we can show fans dancing on the screen and it just livens the atmosphere. We've received a ton of positive feedback from our fans and season ticket holders. People are very impressed with the resolution and image quality."

Equally positive has been the improved production value of games and matches.

"We have a lot more functionality compared to before," Brough said. "Graphics, intro videos, replays and the live game feed are much clearer and more professional-looking. Our athletics program has an award-winning video department and the new display technology has been a great opportunity for them to showcase their work."

The Planar video wall is also anticipated to support UP athletics with their recruiting efforts. "A big part of attracting talent is the facilities and resources," Brough said. "Today's generation of student athletes have expectations, and as a program, you want to show them you're on the cutting-edge. The new LED video board definitely provides that advantage."

A seamless system integration

Jose Nevarez, UP assistant athletic director of broadcast operations, said a key benefit of the Planar CarbonLight CLI Series video wall was the flexibility that the system offered in terms of integrating with their existing video infrastructure. "We had just redesigned our entire video control system, and the new video wall allowed us to easily continue what we had already started," he said. "It's the true definition of plug and play."
Nevarez said the updated LED video board has also brought a big improvement to their in-game productions. "The new video board allows us to do so much more. And the difference in image quality is night and day compared to our previous system," Nevarez said.