Looking up from Cyclone Alley, students will have an easier time knowing who's on top this basketball season.

As part of the renovations planned for Hilton Coliseum, a new scoreboard has been installed - and this time it will have the score on it.

"That's the first thing we demanded," said Larry Quant, senior associate athletic director of operations.

The old scoreboard, installed in 1997, came under much scrutiny when fans found out that it didn't actually have the game score on it - a mistake the ISU Athletic Department didn't make again.

Carrying a $2.5 million price tag, the new video scoreboard also includes a "ribbon" board that runs around the inner concourse of Hilton like those seen at many NBA arenas.

Keisha Ludvigson, junior in finance, said the new scoreboard is overdue and will be a great addition to an already exciting environment.

"It will be nice to have a scoreboard with a score on it," Ludvigson said. "I'm sure it will make watching the game a lot better."

The new board is just the first in many planned renovations to the 35-year-old building, including the addition of seats to the east and west ends of the floor to expand Cyclone Alley this season.

This means more than 100 new seats down on the floor, Quant said, without taking more money from students' pockets.

"We're not looking to fund this project through student ticket prices," Quant said. "We are committed to not raising prices for the next three years."

The new additions set for this season are just a part of the $60 million worth of plans for Hilton. New suites in the balcony are also in the works as well as preparations for widening the concourse and improving the concession area, all scheduled to be completed by September 2010.

"Hilton Coliseum is a great place to play and watch a game with all its tradition and fans," women's basketball coach Bill Fennelly said. "With the new seats, lighting and the scoreboard, it will take a great basketball environment and make it that much better."

Key to the renovation plans is a new facility that will be added on to Hilton's southeast corner, allowing practice space for the men and women's basketball teams as well as the women's volleyball team. The building will also house locker rooms and offices for coaches.

"It'll be an addition that has been much needed," Fennelly said. "For a long time we've been the only team in the Big 12 without a practice facility."

The new facility, slated to be open September 2009, will mean more stability in the Cyclone practice schedule. With Hilton being a multi-use building, the basketball and volleyball teams sometimes find themselves practicing at the Forker building.

The main court at State Gym is also getting a facelift this offseason and will be used for practices by the men's basketball team until the new facility is finished.

"We want to be out of Forker and State totally and open them up for other uses," Quant said. "The new facility will give each team their own court to practice on."

Being early in the planning process, there aren't any firm commitments, but a significant portion of the bill is going to be raised through donors, Quant said. Revenue from the new suites and the addition of courtside seating will bring in extra money as well.

The money spent on new facilities has coaches optimistic about the future of Iowa State's program.

"Knowing the way Jamie Pollard and his staff do things, it is going to be first-rate all the way," Fennelly said. "For kids to see an addition like that will add another dimension to our recruiting."

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.