UW-Stout News Story

Athletics ups its game with fieldhouse improvements

November 18, 2013

College basketball fans should sense a little more excitement at UW-Stout’s Johnson Fieldhouse this season.

Large, color wall graphics have been installed near the gym entrances and throughout the building, along with posters featuring 18 university scholar-athletes.

New wall graphics featuring Blue Devils athletes will greet basketball fans at Johnson Fieldhouse.. In addition, when the Blue Devils women's and men's basketball teams play their home openers Tuesday, Nov. 19, it will be fans' first look at new 18-foot-long, 10-foot-high video boards on both ends of the court.

The digital display boards will be used to exhort the crowd and for occasional instant replays and sponsor messages.

The goal of the changes is to add more excitement to the fieldhouse atmosphere year-round and especially for fans during games.

"Former student-athletes are coming in and saying they love it," said Brett Schreiner, external relations and promotions coordinator for athletics. "Our goal is to build Blue Devil pride."

The approximately 20 wall graphics — oversize action photos featuring Blue Devils athletes — cover all 18 varsity sports and University Recreation in about 20 locations around the building.

"They have really brightened up the fieldhouse and given it some color," Schreiner said. "This is something a lot of athletic facilities have done around the country as a relatively inexpensive way to freshen up their buildings."

The 3-foot-by-4-foot scholar-athlete posters are in a hallway next to the gym and spread around the building. To be a scholar-athlete at UW-Stout, students must maintain a 3.5 grade-point-average.

"The idea is to get a student-athlete to say, 'Hey, I want my picture up there when I'm a senior.' A lot of athletes are striving for that," Schreiner said.

The home opener for the women's basketball team is at 5 p.m. against Marian College. The men follow, at approximately 7 p.m., against Bethel College.

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