Corn Palace to webcast games beginning today
Webcasts of events at the Corn Palace will begin streaming live on the facility's website today.
Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling said the project to show the live events has been ongoing for nearly a year.
"We're really in the experimental stage right now," Schilling said. "More and more facilities and sports teams are starting to do this."
Beginning with the 2011 Mike Miller Classic -- a two-day basketball event tipping off at noon today -- most sporting events at the Corn Palace will be webcast live.
Schilling said Corn Palace officials will work with promoters on a case-by-case basis on other events, such as concerts.
"More people are looking for games," he said. "We just wanted to make the process as easy as possible for the people who want to watch these events."
Online viewers will have a chance to see exactly what is displayed on the video screens inside the Corn Palace.
"We click one button and whatever is sent to our large video screens is displayed online," Schilling said.
The source of audio for the games is still being decided, he said, but using the public address announcer, a live radio feed, or a shared radio feed with Mitchell Telecom broadcast are all possibilities.
Schilling is not worried the webcasts will deter people from attending events at the Corn Palace.
"We really haven't seen people sit by their computer screen and watch from home rather than attend if they could attend," he said. "If people see that we're providing this service for those who cannot be here, when they can be here, they will be more likely to attend."
No additional staff members were hired as part of this project, but outside workers were hired temporarily to help set up equipment, Schilling said.
Whether to include advertisements as part of the webcasts is still being considered.
"We just want to get this out there, see what the responses are and determine what's actually going on and what changes we should be making," Schilling said.
All webcast events will be available live at cornpalace.org.