Northwestern University (NU) is revving up the game-day experience for Wildcat fans at its newly renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena. The arena in Evanston, Illinois, was renovated in 1983 and serves as home court for its basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams. The venue had been largely untouched since its opening and to make way for the $110 million renovation, the school completely gutted the existing structure. The mission was to create an environment that would feel both intimate for fans and intimidating to visiting teams. Seating capacity was adjusted to just over 7,000 seats to create one of the world’s most accessible arenas, while giving every spectator a great view of the court and allowing room for the new Wilson Club premium seating area.
The other priority for transforming the fan experience was focused on replacing the CATV system and implementing the best video technology available. NU improved the fan visual experience by installing a four-sided center court videoboard and LED ribbon displays around the arena. To carry the on-court action outside, more than 75 displays were installed around the concourse, at the concessions, and within the Wilson Club.