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Regents approve video upgrades for Kinnick

[ 0 ] April 25, 2013 |

CEDAR FALLS — The University of Iowa is moving ahead with plans for a new Kinnick Stadium scoreboard and sound system, and the university’s athletics director said the improvements will be ready in time for the 2013 football season.

The Iowa state Board of Regents voted to approve the project Thursday at a cost of roughly $9 million, when construction, infrastructure improvements and electrical work are factored in. It will be paid for using Athletics Department revenue and private contributions, and will not require any state funding or tuition dollars, UI Athletics Director Gary Barta said.

The stadium’s current scoreboard and sound system, installed in 2005, are “obsolete,” Barta said. In fact, he said portions of the current scoreboard are no longer functioning.

“If you think about the television sets in your own home, at least I know a lot of the homes I’ve been in, just the amount of technology change, just since 2005, that’s what’s happened with our video boards,” Barta told the regents. “When we put them in in 2005, they were state of the art, but since then, HD has come along and all the technology that has come along.”

The project calls for a large video display system at the stadium’s south end zone, as well as video displays in its northeast and northwest end zones. A ribbon display also will be installed above the seating along the north side of the stadium that will show game information and advertisements. It includes two game clocks and four delay-of-game clocks.

To fully utilize the displays and sound system, the Athletics Department will need to purchase new equipment for its control room to allow its HawkVision cameras on the field and in the seating bowl to show game replays, crowd shots and advertisements, according to a regents document. The project will require infrastructure improvements to handle the new equipment.

The cost of the project increased by more than $1 million due to an error by the project’s engineer, McComas-Lacina Construction, in calculating the cost of steel, Barta said. Given the higher price, he said officials discussed whether the project would be cheaper if they held the project until the 2014 season, but determined it would not.

The university will purchase the equipment from Brookings, S.D.-based Daktronics Inc., which also will perform the installation.

Warren Madden, Iowa State University’s vice president for business and finance, told the regents that ISU had a good experience with Daktronics when the company installed the scoreboard and sound system for Jack Trice Stadium in 2010. The overall project cost roughly $5 million. Madden said Daktronics is the country’s major supplier for state-of-the-art scoreboards.

ISU’s scoreboard is mounted over the north end of the stadium on a large steel structure. Madden said it has much better resolution than the stadium’s previous scoreboard for showing replays and advertising.

“The fans have really enjoyed it,” he said.

ISU’s scoreboard is being used for more than just football, Madden said. In two weeks, he said students will show an outdoor movie on the screen.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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