Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
If you want to watch Buckeye football in high definition this fall, it doesn’t mean you have to sell your tickets. Stretching 124 feet wide and standing 42 feet tall, Ohio Stadium’s monstrous new scoreboard offers fans a whole new experience in the Horseshoe.
The HD Panasonic jumbotron sits atop the south end zone, replacing the 30 feet by 90 feet scoreboard that has been in use for the past 11 seasons. The televisions at concession stands have also been replaced with HD monitors.
The new scoreboard is grouped with a new sound system as well, with 25 speakers flanking each side of the scoreboard. In total, the renovations come with a price tag of more than $7 million, according to an athletic department release. Don Patko, associate athletic director of Facilities Management, said the improvements were necessary and well worth the cost.
“It was time for the video board to be replaced,” Patko said. “The usual life for a scoreboard is 12 to 15 years, and the last one was 12 years old.”
Prior to installing the new system, the athletic department researched similar projects at other stadiums such as the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field. Patko said that by researching other projects, and understanding the shortcomings of the old scoreboard, they were able to put together the best possible game day experience with the new system.
“Everybody that has an HDTV at home knows that it provides better clarity,” Patko said. “The new board also allows you to have better viewing angles. The entire industry is moving toward HD, and we feel that we have one of the best systems out there.”
Newly enrolled OSU freshmen had an early glimpse at the stadium’s improvements Aug. 20 during convocation, as they walked through Ohio Stadium and saw themselves on the big screen.
“It was my first time in the stadium, so I didn’t even know it was new,” said Michael Gross, a first-year in health professionals exploration. “But it was something you noticed the moment you walked into the stadium, just the size of it was really impressive.”
Benjamin Sokobin, a first-year in business, didn’t even have to enter the stadium to notice the scoreboard.
“It was one of the first things my family noticed when I moved in,” said Sokobin, who lives in Lincoln Tower. “Ohio Stadium is known as one of the best venues in college football, and I think it’s great that they are making it even better.”