New scoreboard brings the “Wow!” factor to football stadium
When asked what he expected would be the reaction of Texas Football fans to the new 134-feet wide and 55-feet high scoreboard that will be unveiled this September, Mike Miller of Earl Miller Productions said, "I hope it will be, 'Wow, that thing is pretty big!"
So big, that it is the world's largest high-definition scoreboard from Daktronics, a South Dakota-based firm.
Think of it as the world's largest big-screen TV at 1,740 inches.
Miller sounded almost as though he was a fan as he spoke of the scoreboard that is the heart of an $8 million upgrade of the video and sound in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
"I'm strictly part of the production side for The University," Miller said. "I've not been involved in the operation stuff. Our job is to program it, to put as much information as possible on it."
There certainly will be room for the information.
Jim Baker, the associate athletics director for events and operations, has been involved in the "operation stuff" and has the sound of a little boy anticipating Santa's arrival when it comes to the scoreboard's premiere the first Saturday in September.
"The scoreboard is another example of DeLoss' (Dodds, men's athletics director) push to excellence," Baker began. "It is another example of his desire for Texas to be the best."
Baker said the search for the new scoreboard and sound system began about a year ago.
"After we had gotten it funded," he said, "we began talking to people to get a feel for what was out there, to see what we could do for the money we had raised."
Baker noted that those involved in this research used the HD scoreboard in the home of the Miami Dolphins as a guide.
"We loved it," he said of the scoreboard in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., stadium. "We liked the size of the LED. We liked the full screen and the flexibility the scoreboard gave to us."
Texas bid out the project and went with Daktronics, which, ironically, also has USC as a client.
"What the fans will notice is that it will provide a much clearer picture," Baker said. "It will have a pure pixel resolution of 848 x 2064 -- if that means anything to anyone.
"We'll be able to do a lot with this board. The big thing is the magnitude of the scoreboard. It's like the size of a six- or seven-story building."
Baker reminded that if a Texas game was not being telecast in HD, the new scoreboard would not be able to have it in HD, which is about the only limitation to the board.
"Since we no longer will have a scoreboard on the north end," he began, "the size and clarity of this one board is important."
Baker also explained that this new scoreboard offers sponsors the ability to do more during the games.
"Take Coca-Cola," he said. "Coca-Cola will no longer just have a set sign on the scoreboard. They will be able to feature its several different products throughout the course of the game. The same holds true with other advertisers."
Baker, who said the new scoreboard would be ready on time, noted the new sound system would be pleasing to the fans. He said there would be six new flagpoles as part of the structure.
"This will be state of the art," he added. "It will be first class, which is the way DeLoss does everything at Texas. The scoreboard will be no different."