pro360

June 15, 2024
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ZTransform, a leading technology solutions provider serving the broadcast, sports venue, corporate new media, education, and government sectors, recently delivered AV and media facilities to Augustana University’s highly anticipated Midco Arena, in time for launch of the Viking’s NCAA Division 1 program, despite challenging time constraints.

The university’s ambition was to be the first in the state of South Dakota to offer hockey at the top collegiate level, adding an NCAA Division 1 Men’s team by the 2023-2024 season as part of the ‘Viking Bold’ campaign (a strategic plan designed to lead Augustana through 2030). In January 2024, the team moved into the $72million USD Midco Arena, which houses 3,100 seats, 12 private suites, center-ice club hospitality space, and team store.

Contracted by one of USA’s leading building and infrastructure companies, Clark Construction, who built the arena, ZTransform procured the technology, implemented the design, completed systems integration, and provided launch services for the media workflows in the arena. This included installation of the main frame room, press box systems, cameras and rigging, lighting, production control room with replay systems, video mixing and audio suites; ZTransform also linked Midco Arena with the existing TV production studios located in a separate building on the university campus.

“ZTransform pivoted quickly to meet new demands and customized spaces that weren’t originally designed into the plans,” explains Luke Groth, Associate Athletic Director for Operations, Augustana University. ”They were really creative with workstation ergonomics and expertly figured out connectivity solutions to make the new building work with legacy infrastructure of the existing studios.”

For the majority of the Vikings NCAA Division 1 game days, a TV production team from Midco Sports Network, which provides live coverage of high school and college events in the region, plugs its own production truck into the facility infrastructure to produce live TV coverage and live streaming from up to 14 cameras around the hockey arena. Live and recorded content can also be produced and streamed by staff in-house.

“ZTransform was able to balance the diverse needs of all our stakeholders, including sponsors, marketing and content creators to build an engaging environment that works for everyone,” Groth added.

Beyond hockey, Midco Arena is a multi-use hub for Augustana Athletics, including a new athletic administration and coaching office suite, athletic department strength & conditioning center, sports medicine facility, and an equitably designed team suite for Women’s Soccer. One of the goals of the Viking Bold Campaign is to transition Augustana University to NCAA Division 1 in the near future.

Groth says that further ‘Viking Bold’ campaign initiatives include the hosting and televising or streaming of live events such as music concerts and corporate gigs: “The arena and the media facility within opens new revenue opportunities for us. ZTransform has future-proofed our systems so that we can produce broadcast quality content inhouse whether for sports or other events.”

“The patience and expertise that ZTransform displayed when coordinating with all the diverse partners and sponsors involved in the project, is a real credit to them – especially under the time constraints. I would highly recommend ZTransform as a systems integration partner on any sports venue project,” Groth concluded