Smooth as Ice: New Scoreboard & Hoist for Arena

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scoreboard hoist“J.R. Clancy had provided our previous scoreboard hoist back in 2003 and they were recommended by our new scoreboard’s manufacturer,” says Jeff Mead, General Manager at the Glens Falls Civic Center (GFCC) in Glens Falls, New York. “It was an easy decision to work with them again.”

Owned and operated by the Adriondack Civic Center Coalition, GFCC features a 4,794-seat multi-purpose arena that is home to the Adirondack Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. The new scoreboard was the most prominent element of a $2 million GFCC renovation project funded by a state grant.

Supporting Newer Technology

“We provided a hoist with a similar-size footprint, but higher capacity,” says Patrick Finn, J.R. Clancy Product Manager. J.R. Clancy worked with facility personnel and the scoreboard manufacturer, Panasonic. For example, J.R. Clancy coordinated with Panasonic to ensure the new hoist’s cables would be properly aligned with the existing set of scoreboard pick points.

The new hoist was needed to support a significantly larger scoreboard featuring full LED screens on all sides. The old scoreboard featured only conventional light bulbs – no video capabilities. Finn says LED display technology has become the new standard the past 3-4 years, in part due to its flexibility. LED displays can show regular scoring statistics, videos, animation and anything in between.

Jeff Mead, General Manager of GFCC, says their new, NHL-quality scoreboard provides a “night-and-day” improvement for fans. Also, his facility can now generate more revenue from scoreboard advertising. The previous scoreboard’s backlit signage was changed only annually.

Meeting Compressed Schedule

This project moved quickly – from order to shipment in just over three months. J.R. Clancy’s internal engineering team designed this 3,000-lb. custom hoist, which measured over 14’ long, 2’ wide and nearly 5’ tall. It was built and tested at J.R. Clancy’s Syracuse facility before being shipped in one piece to GFCC by truck in November 2016.

Under this compressed schedule, J.R. Clancy and Panasonic worked side-by-side installing equipment while the Thunder was away on an extended road trip. “We installed our hoist, then ran the rigging lines while they were building the scoreboard’s frame off to the side,” recalls Finn. Once the scoreboard was moved into place, J.R. Clancy personnel hooked it up to the hoist and started raising it so Panasonic could begin installing the scoreboard’s lower section.

The specific J.R. Clancy hoist was a zero fleet drum model, where the drum and motors can travel approximately one foot from left to right on a carriage. This movement enables the cable to always pay off the groomed drum in the exact same spot, keeping the fleet angle at zero degrees throughout the cable’s entire run. This prevents potential fleet angle problems, which become a greater concern with higher-capacity hoists.

Achieving Load Capacity

Finn says J.R. Clancy has worked on many custom scoreboard hoist projects, which are challenging for several reasons. The production timetable is often compressed, in order to minimize the facility’s downtime. Weight requirements are much higher than a typical line set in a proscenium theatre, which may require a capacity of 2,000-3,000 lbs. The GFCC hoist had a 10,000 lb. capacity.

“This scoreboard hoist utilizes a double purchase design,” explains Finn. As a result, hoist components can be smaller. This saves the customer money, minimizes the installation footprint and reduces power consumption.

Ensuring Safety & Satisfaction

Due to the critical nature of overhead rigging, there is a large safety factor built into all hoist components, typically an 8:1 or 10:1 ratio. J.R. Clancy designs its hoist equipment to meet the ANSI E1.6-1 – 2012 – Powered Hoist Systems standard.

Mead considers the scoreboard project a success. “Everything went smoothly – J.R. Clancy kept their promises,” he concludes. “If there had been any hiccups, we might have been forced to miss a hockey game. We’re very pleased with the installation.”

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