Some clever planning and a large donation from the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show has allowed for the Richardson Pioneer Weyburn Red Wings to once again set themselves apart in the SJHL. Their newly installed LED mega-screen saw its unofficial unveiling during Saturday night's game against Yorkton. Although some minor finishing touches are needed before calling the project complete, Red Wings Office and PR Manager Nick Nielsen is already looking forward to the many ways it will improve the game-day experience.
"The way the screen is set up, we're going to be able to move our score clock over to the screen from time to time, and we're going to have a live feed of the game up there at all times," he explained. "We can also play videos up there, and we actually tested that out a little bit over the weekend with a couple different things like highlights from our players last year. It just adds a bunch of intermission opportunities, things that will improve the atmosphere."
Advertising revenue is another major opportunity for the team, as the highly customizable display will undoubtedly draw the attention of every patron in the venue. However, the big question on fans' minds is if we'll be seeing instant replay footage at the next home game. Nielsen was quick to address that point and said that it's definitely a feature that's high on their list of goals, although it may take some time to develop.
"We need a little bit more equipment to make it replay capable, which means we'll likely need another operator, which means another volunteer at some point to help run that," said Nielsen. "So, we're always looking for more volunteers. If you're technologically savvy, we'd love to have you, whether it's for running the screen or running the camera or anything like that, because we will need it to keep this thing running."
Nielsen added his thanks to IKS Media, the people behind 'SJHL Weekly', for assisting with the installation of the new display and for setting up the team with some unique graphics and training for the staff. He also invited SJHL fans to stop in at Crescent Point Place early next week for a special live broadcast of 'SJHL Weekly' to further showcase the capabilities of the new display.
"The folks from SJHL Weekly are actually doing a live broadcast from here at Crescent Point Place on January 22nd. So, if you want to get a better look at the screen and see Jeromy, Rory and Jamie talk about everything SJHL, live as it happens, come on out to see us on Monday," Nielsen offered.
The utility of the large display does not stop with SJHL hockey, though. Any event or organization planning to use the space at Crescent Point Place can also approach the Red Wings to discuss the option of utilizing the big-screen to further add to the experience. Dan Cugnet, Chair of the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show, said that these possibilities are exactly what the organization had in mind when making their donation.
"When we're looking to invest in the community, the focus for us is to always have it be something that will help enhance the [Oil and Gas] Show as well," he explained. "We thought it'd be great for the Wings and Crescent Point Place, and we thought it'd be great for us to have that capability when the Show is on. So, when they approached us with the idea, we got on board pretty quick with it."
"Pretty quick" might be underselling their enthusiasm just a bit. The idea was first floated to the Oil and Gas Show by Nick Nielsen and Jeff Chessall in the Fall of 2023 and with the Show's contribution of more than $80,000, the screen was able to be transported from an arena in Manitoba and reinstalled in Weyburn in roughly one Quarter. Some folks just know a good deal when they see one, and Cugnet believes that this deal is bound to pay dividends back into the community that supports them.
"We were happy to do it and I think it's going to create a lot of value for the Red Wings going forward, a lot of value for the for the Oil Show, and a lot of value for the for the community and for Crescent Point place," he said.
Cugnet added that he is already looking forward to the fantastic lineup of speakers set to make an appearance at the next Oil Show on June 4th, and to try out their newly improved ability to shine a spotlight on the Southeast's Energy Sector.