ADJ’s Focus Spot 7Z Shines Bright At Augustana University’s New Midco Arena

Twelve of ADJ’s Focus Spot 7Z moving head luminaires have been installed in the new Midco Arena at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Supplied by local technical specialist Pinnacle Productions, the lights are the crowning jewels of the 154,000 square-foot arena. They are utilized extensively to enhance the production of home games for the Augustana Vikings through custom GOBO projections, spotlighting player entrances, washing the ice in vibrant colors, and creating intricate texture patterns.

Providing a new gateway to Augustana University’s campus, Midco Arena is a state-of-the-art ice hockey facility which houses a 3,082-seat main space as well as suites, hospitality areas, training facilities, and administrative offices. It is part of the university’s ambitious ‘Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030’ strategic plan to transition the Vikings athletics program from Division II to Division I. Augustana launched its Division I men’s ice hockey team in the fall of 2023 and Midco Arena was officially opened midway through their first season in late January of 2024.

Based in Sioux Falls and boasting extensive experience in a wide variety of professional lighting applications – including one-off events, tour production and permanent installations – Pinnacle Productions was the obvious choice for the Vikings administration when it came to designing and installing entertainment lighting equipment to enhance the arena’s game-day experience. Led by one of the company’s partners, Jeff Meuzelaar, the Pinnacle team designed and installed a simple but effective lighting system which involved twelve ADJ Focus Spot 7Z fixtures attached via beam clamps to the arena’s roof structure. The units were strategically positioned above the ice so that specific fixtures can shoot directly down to hit the five faceoff circles, while the full complement of units offer coverage of the entire arena.

“We considered a number of potential fixtures for the project,” explains Jeff, “including ADJ’s Focus Spot 6Z and Focus Profile. However, we decided the Focus Spot 7Z was the ideal choice. Ultimately, we wanted the brightest fixture that we could get within the client’s budget as we didn’t know how the arena was going to control their overhead lighting. The 7Z is incredibly bright, has very good optics, and is also extremely versatile. One of the main requirements from the client’s perspective was that they wanted projections of their stylized Viking logo on the ice. We ordered custom glass GOBOs for all twelve fixtures to give complete flexibility. Installing them was very easy, even at 50’ in the air, which we had to do because the project moved so quickly that the GOBOs didn’t arrive until after the fixtures were hung. Another reason we chose the Focus Spot 7Z was its LED light source, as accessing the units to change lamps would be problematic during the season. Overall, it was the perfect fixture for the job.”

Powered by a potent 420-Watt white light LED engine, the Focus Spot 7Z delivers an impressive output of 20,000 Lumens. It features an expansive collection of beam-shaping tools that provides Lighting Designers with huge creative potential. CMY color mixing, alongside a variable CTO flag and separate 7-slot (plus open) dichroic color wheel, provides almost limitless color choice. Two independent indexed-rotating replaceable GOBO wheels, each with seven slots plus open, allow for a choice of 14 different patterns. The fixture also features an indexed rotating animation wheel, which can be used to generate engaging and complex moving projections, especially when used in conjunction with one of the rotating GOBO options. The unit’s extensive feature set also includes motorized zoom (6° ~ 48°), focus and iris; two rotating prisms and two frost filters.

Pinnacle’s Nick Teal was responsible for programming the fixtures at Midco Arena as well as operating the lighting for the venue’s inaugural games. He made full use of the Focus Spot 7Z’s versatility to create a wide variety of looks. These included spotlighting and tracking players as they entered the ice, washing the rink with vibrant colors, adding texture with GOBO patterns multiplied by the rotating prisms, and creating aerial beam effects. The fixtures’ wide field of motion and large beam angle range allowed him to cover the whole arena, including the ice, crowd seating, and side walls. This allowed, for example, the US flag hanging along one side of the arena to be highlighted during the national anthem.

“I want to start by saying that the Focus Spot 7Z packs the punch that is missing from other fixtures at the same price point,” enthuses Nick. “It is extremely versatile with its vibrant colors and crisp white. The high-speed pan and tilt make it perfect for the fast-paced atmosphere of ice hockey and the precision of the pan and tilt is impeccable. We could go from an extremely fast ballyhoo encompassing the entire arena to spotlights highlighting individual players in fractions of a second that hit the mark perfectly every time. The wide zoom and focus range proved very valuable as we could cover the entire ice surface with GOBO textures and color using 10 fixtures, leaving two still available to highlight game elements like the flag bearer and center ice. All the factory GOBOs paired stunningly with the two prism effect options to add another dynamic element that looked great both in person and on TV broadcasts. Additionally, the two frost filter options were very useful. A fixture can go from a sharp-edged beam to a soft-edged key light, perfect for national anthem singers, in no time at all. Overall, the vast variety of features gave me the flexibility to create unique effects and highlights both on the ice and in the stands, adding depth and dimension to the game.”

Midco Arena
Augustana University
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Pinnacle Productions

Design, Installation & Programming Team
Chris Bullock, Nick Teal, Jeff Meuzelaar & Josh Lentz

PINstudios - Everett Palmer
Augustana University

Lighting Gear List
12 x ADJ Focus Spot 7Z