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Dollar Loan Center: If It Ain't Broke...

Dollar Loan Center
The Technical Operations Center for the Dollar Loan Center was modelled after the T-Mobile Arena. (Image credit: Dollar Loan Center)

If you are an AV engineer who first worked at T-Mobile Arena—home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights—and then got an AV gig at the new 5,567-seat Dollar Loan Center in Henderson, NV, you could be forgiven for doing a double take after entering its Technical Operations Center (TOC). The reason?

“Our AV system was designed to be a miniature version of T-Mobile Arena’s,” said Steve Carl, director of audio visual and production, Dollar Loan Center. “We’re kind of the little sibling of that facility, in the sense that we have the same AV DNA as they do.”

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The reason for the resemblance has everything to do with Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. He also owns the Henderson Silver Knights of the American Hockey League (AHL), who call the Dollar Loan Center home. Foley also co-owns the Dollar Loan Center, which opened its doors in March. “Mr. Foley is very happy with the T-Mobile Arena and how AV production is facilitated there,” Carl explained. “So he just basically used its AV operation as a template to be copied here.”

Dollar Loan Center Hockey

Home to the Henderson Silver Knights, the Dollar Loan Center features a Daktronics four-sided video scoreboard, as well as a LED ribbon display. (Image credit: Dollar Loan Center)

Not only does this decision mean the Dollar Loan Center has an NHL-quality AV system, but it also ensures a source of highly qualified personnel for this stadium. “This is because we use AV technicians from the T-Mobile Arena,” said Davin Gaddy, The Dollar Loan Center’s AV engineer. “By copying their AV system and recreating it here, it is very easy to move people back and forth as needed. There is no learning curve to move from one TOC to the other.”

Monitors Everywhere

Super-sized video scoreboards dominate modern arenas, and the Dollar Loan Center is no exception. Suspended over the center of the stadium is a Daktronics video scoreboard (opens in new tab) LED display with four faces, each one approximately 11.5 feet high by 20 feet wide with 3.9mm pixel spacing for high-resolution imagery. Each screen can be used to show one large image or multiple zones of live video, instant replays, player statistics, graphics, animations, and advertising.

The Dollar Loan Center also has a Daktronics 360-degree indoor LED ribbon display (23,616x72 total resolution) running around the stadium’s upper perimeter, as well as an 11x19-foot Daktronics outdoor marquee display at 960x540 resolution. Plus, there is a NovaStar exterior pylon LED sign in the property, offering messaging at 256x384 resolution.

“We have 147 HDTVs that are running on an IPTV system throughout the facility,” Gaddy said. “Their content is sure to catch your eye wherever you are, because we have complete control over all that digital signage and can tailor it to whatever event is coming through.”

Dollar Loan Center Video Scoreboard

(Image credit: Dollar Loan Center)

To supply its screens with video, the Dollar Loan Center has a full complement of broadcast-quality HD cameras. There are five Hitachi SK-HD1800 cameras with Fujinon lenses wired via SMPTE hybrid optical cables, as well as an additional SK-HD1800 connected using a Waves Central bi-directional RF interface. Six Marshall POV cameras are equipped with Thor bi-directional fiber transceivers, and two Sony BRC-X1000 4K PTZ cameras connected by fiber. The TOC’s camera control suite has six Hitachi RU-1500JY remote camera controls, one Marshall remote CCU station, and one Sony RM-IP500 PTZ camera remote controller.

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The cameras connect back to the TOC on the event level through multiple junction boxes, installed at key areas around the facility, via single-mode fiber optic and analog cables. “We've got fiber runs that go everywhere you would expect fiber to run, with the exception of the restrooms,” Carl said with a laugh. “Seriously, we've got connectivity through our junction boxes located throughout the facility. Basically, we can setup cameras anywhere we want to, and send their video to anywhere in the building.”

Top Shelf Equipment

Modelled after the T-Mobile Arena’s TOC, the Dollar Loan Center’s TOC definitely punches above its weight. The star of the operation is a Ross Carbonite video switcher with TouchDrive control surface, with a Ross Xpression CG Suite included to support real-time motion graphics and clips playout. The TOC also features a CharacterWorks CG system for ancillary score bug/graphics applications, which is integrated with the Daktronics All Sport scoring system and the four video scoreboards. “We’ve got more options on this system than most of our operators ever need,” said Carl.

To manage its video, the TOC has an Evertz DreamCatcher DC-Playout four-output system, Evertz Dreamcatcher DC-ONE six-input replay system, four FOR-A FA-505 multi-channel signal processors, and a NewTek TriCaster Mini for video streaming applications. Signal transport and processing is handled by an Evertz EQX hybrid router, configured to 164x164 SDI channels with fully routable audio capabilities. Other Evertz gear includes a MAGNUM system control server, SCORPION SDI-to-Dante bridge, and 5700MSC-IP master clock.

On the audio side of the house, this TOC has a DiGiCo S31 FOH mixing console (opens in new tab), Fulcrum Acoustic main P.A. with Powersoft amplifiers, JBL facility-wide P.A. with QSC amplifiers, QSC Q-SYS processing with Extron zone controllers, and a TASCAM analog/Dante converter.

Dollar Loan Center Audio

(Image credit: Dollar Loan Center)

A Dante infrastructure serves as the stadium’s primary audio transport method, with a main P.A. analog backup available. This is topped off by a Riedel intercom system with multiple base stations and 20 wireless Bolero belt packs with facility wide antenna distribution and connectivity, plus Clear-Com analog partyline system capabilities.

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The Dollar Loan Center’s lighting system keeps pace with its stellar AV setup. "Our lighting was created by designer Sean Guarino of Sexy Lights, who has done Olympic figure ice skating lighting,” Carl said. “He's also done lots of sporting events, including the lighting design at the T-Mobile Arena.”

General lighting in The Dollar Loan Center is provided by Musco DMX addressable LED fixtures, with both adjustable color temperature and RGBW fixtures installed, and a Musco lighting control system. Facility lighting employs LED systems that have Eaton DMX external control capabilities, as well as software timing and control systems, while lighting for specific events varies depending on their needs.

Finally, to aid TV production, the stadium has two television truck remote locations with full interconnectivity and power, plus multiple show power system tie-in locations around the facility.

Dollar Loan Center Exterior

(Image credit: Dollar Loan Center)

Given the top quality and flexibility of its AV, lighting, and infrastructure, it’s not surprising that Carl describes the Dollar Loan Center as being a “very cool” place to work. He and Gaddy love the fact that it can support everything from basketball, AHL hockey, and IFL indoor football, as well as a full range of other sports, entertainment, corporate, and trade show events.

“Davin and I both come from Cirque du Soleil, where you basically do the same show twice a day, five days a week,” Carl explained. “Now Cirque is wonderful in itself, and that's not an experience to shake a stick at, but having the absolute variety of events that come up in this facility is just thrilling for us as users of AV technology, especially because we have the right equipment to serve them all.”


James Careless is an award-winning freelance journalist with extensive experience in audio-visual equipment, AV system design, and AV integration. His credits include numerous articles for Systems Contractor News, AV Technology, Radio World, and TV technology, among others. Careless comes from a broadcasting background, with credits at CBC Radio, NPR, and NBC News. He currently co-produces/co-hosts the CDR Radio podcast, which covers the Canadian defense industry. Careless is a two-time winner of the PBI Media Award for Excellence.