Fall 2016

|  by Fritz Reznor

Oh-Rena! TVs, graphics greet Grizzly fans

Enter the Den

Yes, you are in the right building.

A year after adding the unique Black Top floor design, LED lights and HD sound to rave reviews, the main hallway has been given a complete makeover with five 70-inch, interactive, touchscreen televisions and a graphics package from Fathead®.

First impressions

“The hallway is kind of the focal point for the experience that you get when you come into the O’rena,” Director of Facilities Andy Adrianse said. “Ninety percent of our patrons come in that way, and it’s the first impression that people get of our facility.”

Fathead, a Detroit-based company that specializes in life-sized, precision-cut vinyl wall graphics, created cut-outs featuring current Oakland student-athletes, alumni who are former or current professionals, and even an “Olympic Wall” that pays tribute to those who have gone on to become Olympians.

Adrianse said some of the TVs will be interactive, allowing users to manipulate the screen and look up different bits of information, while the other screens will likely run video loops or stream live Golden Grizzly athletic events.

The makeover extends to the hallway floor, where fans can “leave their footprint” with the Athletics Center Gold Tile program.

Grizz and Pioneer Pete

The hallway will also feature a large chrome bear head and a lighted, den-like entrance from the hallway into the O’rena. Linking recent and pre-1998-Division II era alumni, will be large graphics of The Grizz and Pioneer Pete on one hallway wall.

“Those early years were an important era for us,” said Scott MacDonald, assistant athletic director for Media Communications. “I don’t think we’ve paid tribute to that era as much as we should have. Adding Pioneer Pete to the wall is going to include people who competed here in the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s in the history of Oakland University athletics.”

Interactive Hall of Honor

Plaques honoring the members of the Athletics Hollie L. Lepley Hall of Honor will become digital and more interactive, accessed on one of the touchscreen TVs, according to Adrianse.

“People are going to see a modernized version of the plaques that allows someone to come up to the screen and interact with the inductees, whether it’s looking someone up individually or navigating by sport,” he said.

A digital Hall of Honor allows for flexibility. “We have a lot of inductees who have gone on to have successful professional careers, whether in athletics or their chosen profession,” MacDonald said. “Now, we will be able to add that information and constantly update the Hall of Honor.”