New video board thrills spectators

Drew Carroll Managing Editor

The 3,100 square foot video board, which will be part of Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, presumably caught the attention of many members of the crowd at Saturday’s home opener against Southern Utah University.

The video board is the largest on-campus display at any NCAA Division I Football Championship Series stadium in the country. It measures 31 feet tall by 100 feet wide. The entire scoreboard is 45 feet tall and 145 feet wide, and includes a section at the top that shows game information such as time, score and the number of time outs each team has remaining. According to Jay Parker, vice president of Live Events at Daktronics, the retail price of this type of video board could be anywhere between $2.5 million to $3 million. 

According to Justin Oschner, who works in marketing and public relations for the Large Sports Venues unit of Daktronics, the SDSU video board ranks 19th on the list of the top 20 college football display installations that Daktronics has done in terms of square footage. Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium tops the list with a display of 10,690 square feet. SDSU’s display is slightly larger than the 2,900 square foot board at the University of Kentucky and is slightly smaller than the 3,120 square foot display at the University of Mississippi. The most comparable display by dimensions in college football is the 36 feet tall by 90 feet wide board at Indiana University. Video boards at NFL stadiums are usually 50 to 60 feet tall and anywhere from 150 to 360 feet wide, according to Parker.

“… plus the stadium is seating 70,000 to 75,000 people, so if you get 75,000 people in your stands, you need a bigger video display,” Parker said. “When you’re a facility that is 17,000 to 19,000 seats, you don’t need that big of a video display.”

Parker also mentioned that Daktronics and SDSU made the final agreement on the size of the board in May 2015. Once the deal was made, it took two to three weeks to design the board. The board then spent 10 days in the manufacturing process. After manufacturing, it took two weeks to hang the board and do the internal electrical wiring required.

During its inaugural use on Saturday night, the video display was used in many different ways. Replays and live game video were played at the same time as stats and advertisements were displayed. Crowd prompts were also visible on the video board to ramp up the energy from those in attendance during the game. A twitter feed could also been seen on the display. According to Parker, other feeds such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat may also be a possibility for the video board to display.

“It’s a canvas that you can actually paint whatever picture you want on there,” Parker said.

According to Jeff Holm, senior associate athletic director of facilities and operations, there were many positive comments made about 

the new video board. Some of these comments were that the display was easily viewed from many different locations throughout the stadium. One location that is harder to view the display from is the student section since the video board is directly behind it.

 Holm said they realize that it is difficult for the students to view the display and may look at adding an auxiliary display to allow students to see what is on the video board.

Although they may not have had the best view of the video board, the students also enjoyed it.

“I thought it was really cool and a big selling point for the new stadium because all I could hear were kids talking about the new scoreboard,” said Matt Nelson, a senior agricultural systems technology major.

Parker also mentioned that the original plan was to put the display on the S-JAC but the roofline of the Dykhouse obstructs the view of attendees who are sitting in the lower rows of the stadium, so they decided to put it in the location of the old scoreboard. Parker said he really likes the location of the video board.

“What I like about SDSU is where it’s located, it’s located very close to the field,” Parker said. “I’m just envisioning when a receiver catches passes and is trying out run a defender that he can look up and see where the defender is behind him, assuming we’ve got the right camera angle going. But he’ll be able to tell if somebody is chasing him or not.”