May 30, 2011 - 9:36am
BY KAITLIN WILLIAMS
Visitors to the Big House this fall will view football games on LED screens that are 40 percent larger and have new custom scoring systems, the University Athletic Department announced yesterday.
Two 4,000-square-foot video screens will be installed in each end zone of Michigan Stadium. Though demolition of the current screens began last month, the new scoreboards will be installed by this August — in time for Michigan’s first game of the 2011 season against Western Michigan on Sept. 3.
The project is slated to cost about $20 million, according to a communication to the University Board of Regents submitted by Athletic Director David Brandon in January. The regents unanimously approved the plan at their meeting in January.
The Athletic Department has employed Texas-based TS Sports/Lighthouse to replace the scoreboards in the three facilities, Brandon wrote in a press release issued yesterday.
"We are excited to partner with TS Sports on new, state-of-the-art scoreboards for our three largest venues," Brandon wrote. "Our goal is to set a new, higher standard for our fans' viewing experience and the game day atmosphere we create in our venues. These boards will be an important first step in achieving that goal."
Video screens will also be installed at Yost Ice Arena for the first time, replacing the arena's current scoreboards. The arena will receive nine, center-hung LED video displays, the release stated.
A new center-hung scoreboard made of 14 LED video displays will also replace the current 13-year-old scoreboard in Crisler Arena. The new scoreboard will be part of a $52 million facelift of the facility, which calls for a 63,000- square-foot addition and an overhaul of the building that is intended to improve the fan experience, Brandon wrote in a Jan. 20 press release.
“Our goal is to create a home court advantage for our teams while making the fan experience memorable from the moment they walk into the arena,” Brandon wrote.
Crisler Arena’s video equipment will also be converted to high-definition during the construction, and the Michigan Sports Television Production Studio will be relocated to Michigan Stadium until the project is completed in 2013 or 2014.