Montgomery Advertiser – February 1, 2015 – By James Crepea –
The biggest video board in college football could be coming to Auburn as soon as this fall.
Auburn’s Board of Trustees will vote during their Friday meeting on a proposal to replace the existing south end zone scoreboard at Jordan-Hare Stadium with an approximately 200-foot wide scoreboard that would be in place by August and ready for the upcoming season, according to documents posted on the school’s website.
Though the exact dimensions are not listed in the proposal, it is believed the massive new video board would surpass Texas A&M’s 47 by 163 foot video board installed at Kyle Field last year as the biggest in college sports. A 200-foot wide video board would surpass the 166.3 feet wide board at Arkansas as the longest in the country, and need to be at least 39 feet tall to eclipse the 7,661 square foot board at Kyle Field.
The project has an estimated cost of $13.9 million, to be funded by the university and reimbursed by the athletic department, according to the proposal.
By comparison, Auburn’s new video board could be most similar to those at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco, which has two video boards that measure 48 by 200 feet, and Seattle’s Safeco Field, which is the largest video board in baseball at 56.7 by 201.5 feet.
The Jacksonville Jaguars spent $63 million on two 62 by 362 foot video boards at Everbank Field, which are the largest video screens at any sporting venue in the country, easily surpassing the 72 by 160 foot screens at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
The video board at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, the largest in college football until last season, measures 55 by 134 feet.
Auburn’s Board of Trustees will also review a proposal to engage an architect and construction management firm to review additional stadium improvements that would be begin as soon as December, following the review of a feasibility study that will conclude this spring, and run as part of a three-part process following the 2015, 2016 and 2017 football seasons. The proposal calls for 360 Architecture of Kansas City, Missouri and Montgomery’s Infinity Architecture and Birmingham’s B.L. Harbert International to be approved given their records of working with the university.
According to a December report by the Sports Business Journal, the feasibility study being conducted by JMI Sports, the consulting group Auburn hired in May 2013, is examining a massive expansion project of the north and south end zones that would likely exceed $100 million.
Initial plans call for “developing new club seats supported by indoor hospitality areas behind the end zones,” and call for the relocation of Auburn’s locker room to the north end, according to SBJ. Auburn would create a premium club on the north end with a wider concourse and bigger, padded seats and better food and beverage options, JMI chief executive Erik Judson told SBJ.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, who was not immediately available for comment, told SBJ the plan would add about 200 seats to the current 87,451 capacity.
Auburn opens the 2015 season against Louisville on Sept. 5 in Atlanta and plays its first home game against Jacksonville State on Sept. 12.
The athletic department is also seeking the board’s approval of an over $1 million project to construct a new training room, locker room, coaches’ office and support facilities for the women’s volleyball team to relocate from Beard-Eaves Coliseum to Auburn Arena. The project, which does not have a listed budget but will be funded by the athletic department, is scheduled to be complete in late 2015 or early 2016.