The Fairfield Area School District board of directors moved closer last week to using COVID-funds to install permanent cameras in the indoor and outdoor athletic venues. The cameras would allow live streaming of athletic events.
Athletic Director Crystal Heller said she had looked into the possibility of live streaming sports events by contacting two companies, Huddle and Pixelott. Heller said the Huddle service would cost $3,000 for a camera that would follow the movement of sports events in one gym. Huddle said the camera could be returned at the end of the year for a refund if the school did not want to continue with the program
Heller said Pixelott was also a viable system, but the current timeline for installation is two to -three months out. Heller said the he installation fee for the Pixelott system is $2500 for both indoor and outdoor cameras but the district must provide both wired internet and power, which she said would be very difficult. Heller said the district could purchase a subscription for $3,000 which would allow anyone to watch.
Heller said Huddle would be the best for this winter, but that Pixelott would be better for the long-term. “You’re getting $15,000 worth of equipment for $2,500.”
The high school football program already has a Huddle account that allows films that are taken by users to be uploaded. But it does not have the Huddle focus camera system.
Business Manager Amy Simmons said the money could come out of funds the district had received for COVID expenses but it would have to be used by the end of the month. Simmons said the balance of the COVID fund was about $50,000.
Board members expressed enthusiasm for the proposal but asked that Simmons send more information about the costs of the two packages.
The board will revisit the issue at its next meeting on October 26.
In other athletic news the school board approved a proposal to allow small numbers of visitors to attend interior sports including girls’ volleyball.