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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Athletics replaces outdated McKale banners

The Arizona athletics program is satisfied with the addition of 19 new athletic achievement banners to the McKale Center to replace 25 faded, old banners.

“”We needed to get the newer, fresher look up there,”” said associate director of athletics Suzy Mason.

The renovation took skilled planning and has been in the works since June.

According to Mason, the critical element to the additions was guaranteeing that the stadium still maintained clear sight lines and an unobstructed view.

The goal was not to interrupt the viewing field for the many fans who attend sporting events, no matter where they sat.

The tricky part, Mason said, was trying not to block the center stage JumboTron with the dangling banners.

“”We still need to tweak them a little and lower them a few inches to work out the alignment,”” said director of event operations Matt Brown.

“”The old banners were eight or nine years old, and they were just a standard vinyl material that didn’t really hold up too well to the … lighting that we had at the time which caused a lot of the banners to fade,”” Brown added.

Since 2002, when the last banners were assembled, McKale Center has switched to fluorescent lighting, allowing for the installation of the new and improved banners.

“”Rather than just a white background with blue and red lettering,”” Brown said, “”it’s a red background with white lettering, which tends to pop quite a bit to the eye. They’re much more visible.””

As for the banners’ new design, they now run with a vertical orientation as opposed to the previous horizontal design.

“”This is pretty typical of what you’d see in other collegiate venues and some professional venues, like the Boston Celtics or the New Jersey Devils-type banners,”” Brown said.

For now, the Arizona men’s basketball team dominates the banner spectrum, encompassing all of its Sweet 16, Elite Eight and Final Four appearances.

Regardless, there seems to be a great all-around vibe about the new banner additions.

“”We’re very, very satisfied and I think all the coaches have expressed their pleasure with it as well,”” Brown said. “”It’s been a win-win for everybody so far.””

Arizona volleyball head coach Dave Rubio was very pleased with the new aesthetics.

“”They look a little classier, and it’s nice to have the Final Four emblems,”” Rubio said. “”It’s really night and day — it’s nice to be recognized with our past.””

With the banner project coming to a close, all that remains is the anticipation of one last exciting element: seeing the banners on the big screen.

“”I think (the banners) help feature the U of A and they have a much cleaner look to them,”” Mason said. “”I definitely think the fans in the area will like them, but I also think they will look great on T.V.””


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