Video Comes Alive at LSU Facilities, Seven-Fold
By Carolyn Braff
Louisiana State University’s scoreboards are not quite the fine wine that every athletics administrator hopes they will be: 10 years old, they are not getting better with age. Rather than replace video boards in each of LSU’s seven major sports facilities one at a time, the university is doing a comprehensive overhaul, employing Daktronics expertise to outfit seven arenas on the Baton Rouge campus.
“In looking at the current scoreboards that are basically reaching their lifespan, we were realizing that, in a lot of these facilities, we were having some issues as far as replacement parts,” explains Associate Athletics Director Eddie Nunez. “When we started looking at everything, we started realizing that we put all these boards in at the same time, so maybe it’s time to renovate and enhance all our boards at one time.”
The campus-wide upgrade, which began this fall, will outfit LSU’s football, basketball, aquatics, track, baseball, and softball facilities with new video displays. New HD-capable control-room facilities will also be put in place to operate the new equipment, but that overhaul will not begin until after football season.
The most imposing installation is in football’s Tiger Stadium, where a Daktronics HD-12 LED display will be installed. At 27 feet tall by 80 feet wide, the HD video board will be one of the largest in collegiate athletics.
“We were limited on what we can do with the base support structure in Tiger Stadium,” Nunez explains. “It’s very difficult for us to put a whole new board up there; we had to maximize what we already had in place. We decided to keep the original framework of the existing scoreboard, gut it, and make the whole board a video board.”
The new video board in the north end of the stadium will give LSU the opportunity to display HD-quality graphics for the first time, which was supremely important to Nunez and his staff.
The Pete Maravich Assembly Center — home to LSU’s basketball, volleyball, and gymnastics teams — is getting a new center-hung system with four Daktronics PS-10i LED displays. Each measures 8 feet high by 10 feet wide.
Also new to the venue is a 3-foot by 80-foot LED display ring around the stadium, which will allow for additional corporate sponsorship in the venue.
“We can really mix it up and add a lot of signage throughout this ring, as well as across the video boards,” Nunez says.
To highlight LSU’s championship track teams, Bernie Moore Track Stadium is being outfitted with an 18-foot by 34-foot Daktronics PS-23 LED video board, replacing the existing matrix board.
“We feel our athletic department here is one of the elite ones in the country,” Nunez explains. “Our track program is one of the best, if not the best in the country, and we want to make sure we do things like that not just for track but for other sports. We want to always be in the top tier when it comes to all aspects of facilities, all the way down to scoreboards.”
The LSU Natatorium, LSU’s swimming and diving arena, is being equipped with two video displays, one for swimming and one for diving, both using PS-23 LED technology.
Both Alex Box Stadium, which will host LSU baseball starting in 2009, and Tiger Park, new home to LSU softball beginning in the spring, will receive brand-new video boards. Baseball will get a 21-foot by 36-foot HD-12 LED video display, as well as a PS-23 LED display and two LED baseball scoreboards. Tiger Park will boast an 8-foot by 20-foot PS-23 LED video display, alongside an LED scoreboard.
“Baseball and softball were unique because we have two brand-new facilities,” Nunez explains. “For both of those, we really wanted to a traditional look, so we’re going with two new video boards on both of those facilities, and we’ll have two matrix boards at baseball, as well.”
The soccer and tennis facilities at LSU will also receive new LED scoreboards, both of which have the flexibility to be upgraded to video boards as early as next year.
“We try to make sure that all our venues are similar as far as what we are doing for each sport,” Nunez explains. “We are anticipating the opportunity to see all these boards in action.”