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Gampel to Gain Scoreboard Worthy of Champions
October 11, 1999

When UConn's national champion men's basketball team hits the floor in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion for Midnight Madness October 15, the flashing lights and bellowing sounds people see and hear will be emanating from new scoreboards and a sound system worthy of the champions.

The new, $1 million scoreboards, complete with the most sophisticated video technology available, along with message boards and complete game summaries, is funded through partnerships with six of the athletic program's sponsors: IKON, First Union Bank, Phoenix Life, Bob's Stores, New England Ford Dealers and IGA, says Jeffrey Hathaway, associate athletic director.

"It's all about keeping people informed and entertained," he says. The video feature, although it cannot be used to show replays during a game - video replays are prohibited by Big East rules - could be used for any number of purposes, athletic and academic, from showing post-game press conferences with UConn coaches to bringing commencement speakers closer to graduates and their families than ever before, he adds.

Similarly, Hathaway says, the new sound system will be a boon to people attending basketball games and other events in the pavilion. The system allows engineers to direct the sound to specific areas of the arena. This capability will be especially valuable during events such as Convocation, when only one side of the grandstands is used, he says.

UConn fans also will have an opportunity to see and hear the new video and audio systems October 24, when the women's Big East champion hoopsters hit the floor for the SuperShow, as they open their run for another flag during an open practice. The doors will open at 2 p.m.

Workers have been installing the twin, 38-foot by 20-foot scoreboards, one on each end of the building, for only two weeks. But, Hathaway says, when the lights go down at midnight October 15, the show - and the 12-foot by 9-foot video screens - will go on.

And the quest for the holy grails - at least two more Big East basketball championships and, perhaps, two more national championships - begins anew.

Richard Veilleux