By Annalisa Purser
The video scoreboard located at the south end of Rice-Eccles Stadium, along with the sound system, will be upgraded by summer 2016, providing fans with a more enjoyable experience, while also reducing the noise disturbance to the surrounding community.
The current scoreboard is more than 10 years old and has become obsolete and difficult to maintain. The new screen will include space along the sides for digital advertising and will accommodate closed captioning during games. The screen will be 89 feet tall by 118 feet wide.
A new distributed sound system will be upgraded at the same time. It will have speakers along the perimeter of the stadium, directing sound toward the center of the bowl rather than sending it across the stadium like it does currently.
“These upgrades will give fans a surround-sound experience compared to the sound that comes from the front of a TV,” said Chris Hill, athletics director at the U. “Not only will fans have clear, crisp sound throughout the stadium, but it reduces the footprint of where the sound goes.”
The freestanding board will sit 50 feet behind the south end zone to accommodate the possibility of any future changes to that area of the stadium.
The cost for both the scoreboard and speaker update will cost $13.5 million and will be funded by the Department of Athletics and Auxiliary Services. Two dollars from every football ticket and $1 from every men’s basketball and every gymnastics ticket are set aside for improvements for the stadium and Huntsman arena. No tax money will be used for this project.
“These upgrades provide a better experience for our fans, student-athletes and neighbors, and will be more operationally efficient and reliable,” said John Nixon, chief financial officer for the U. “It was clear to the university and the Board of Trustees that we should make this investment.”
Annalisa Purser is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at email@example.com.