News, Athletics

Video Board Upgrade Coming To Alumni Stadium

Video technology at Alumni Stadium is getting an upgrade.

Over the summer, Boston College has plunged into a construction project that will knock out the existing video boards in the end zones of Alumni Stadium and replace them with screens that are roughly 53 by 19 feet, according to construction project manager Ed Stokes.

The new screens will be about 30 to 40 percent larger than the previous ones, which were last updated more than a decade ago.

In addition to replacing the video boards in the end zones, ribbon boards will be installed between the stadium’s lower bowl and upper decks, where signage commemorating the school’s history in bowl games stands. The ribbon boards will extend across both end zones and the sidelines.

Daktronics, Inc. is the firm responsible for installing and upgrading the screens. The company, based in Brookings, South Dakota, put in the previous boards, which are now outdated.

“I think the biggest issue with us is, for the last couple of years, it’s become harder and harder to get parts for the boards,” Stokes said. “They’re obsolete. The technology has changed. We’ve had more situations where they’ve had a failure.

“In terms of lifespan, I think they have some 10 to 12 years on boards, and we were at that point.”

Upgrades to the screens gives those behind the boards the chance to enhance what they show fans. For example, the ability to display different windows, which could include statistics, replays, and other pieces of information, will be available.

“The graphics will change significantly,” Stokes said of the high-resolution screens. “They can do so much more with this technology than they could on the old boards.”

The improvements will be ready for BC’s 2014 football season, which kicks off on Sept. 5 with a Friday night matchup against Pitt.

“We should be done with the construction by the end of July—with the physical work—but during August, they’ll be programming and testing and so on,” Stokes said.

BC hopes that upgrading the video boards will improve the game day experience as well. The athletic department has made multiple moves to draw more fans to games by implementing the Gold Pass last year and announcing theme days for each home game this season.

“Your competition right now on game day are the big screens at home,” Stokes said. “That’s who they’re competing against now, to try and get fans. We’re not going near the size of what some other institutions are doing, because we don’t have the physical room, but they’re hoping that it will keep the fans coming that are after the experience.”

June 4, 2014