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Testing Horseshoe’s new scoreboard ‘a necessary evil’

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Ohio Stadium’s $7 million scoreboard renovation made its debut Saturday when Ohio State beat Miami (Ohio) 56-10, but the game wasn’t the first time the scoreboard was used extensively.
Some students noticed the scoreboard was showing images and video in the days leading up to the game and thought that using the electricity to run the scoreboard was a waste of money and energy.
Nolan Rutschilling, a fourth-year in environmental policy and decision making, is a member of the organization Students for Sustainability, and said it struck him “as a serious waste of resources and money” to have the scoreboard on for an extended period of time.
“I’m not fully informed on the matter, but the scoreboard being left constantly running for weeks goes against the university’s commitment to sustainability,” he said.
Don Patko, associate athletics director of Facilities Management, said he does not know exactly how much money the new screen is saving compared to the old screen, and that they don’t have that information for either screen.
Although the thousands of new bulbs in the scoreboard are said to be energy efficient, Aparna Dial, program director in energy and sustainability, said she’s glad that the jumbotron has finally been turned off after the Miami (Ohio) game on Sept. 1. Dial said she was unsure why the screen had been running since July, and why the long length of time was needed.
Patko said he understands students have been worried about the amount of energy and money that the scoreboard could potentially be wasting, but ensured it is an eco-friendly option that follows the university’s green mission. He said performance tests have been running on the board at all times to ensure its quality. Especially with the debut of the screen at the Miami (Ohio) game, there was no room for error.
Patko called running the scoreboard for so long “a necessary evil.”
“You have to burn it in because nothing is perfect on the manufacturing side,” he said.
He said they are constantly looking for defects in the screen and have already found six small pixels that needed replacing.
Daniel Thompson, a first-year in aerospace engineering, and Quentin Kraft, a first-year in biology, said they are being affected by the scoreboard even in their North Campus residence hall. They said they have seen the bright lights and the old football highlights being shown while they are trying to sleep. The students said they were curious as to why it was playing if no one was watching it.
“I don’t know why we are putting all of this time and energy into going green when not all parts of campus are contributing,” Kraft said. “Why does it take so long to test it?”
The renovations did have energy-efficient innovations. The 124-foot-by-42-foot Panasonic HD screen uses with LED lighting, a big change from the incandescent lighting in the last scoreboard. These new LED bulbs are high in energy efficiency, allowing up to 20,000 hours of light.
The lights are intended to be more environmentally friendly, and should also save the university money, Patko said.

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