University of Michigan officials are aiming to improve the fan experience at various athletic fields on campus. Chief among them: massive new scoreboards and sound system improvements at Michigan Stadium.
The two new scoreboards are significantly bigger than the previous ones that were installed in 2011. The identical boards are 179 feet wide by 62 feet tall, an 85 percent increase over the previous scoreboards. The video screens themselves are 152 feet wide by 55 feet tall, a 118 percent increase.
“We’re really trying to prioritize what is done for the fans,” says Jake Stocker, U-M’s director of game presentation.
He says that in addition to more stat categories, they will focus more on showing out-of-town scores during the game.
“We are going to use this technology to make a better fan experience knowing that people can’t always connect to their cell phones in Michigan Stadium,” he says.
U-M officials say the boards will be the third largest in college football behind Auburn University and Purdue University. However, they point out that each of those stadiums has only one scoreboard, and U-M will have two.
In addition to the scoreboards, a new sound system has been installed. Stocker says it will allow for better control and better balance throughout the stadium.
Kurt Svoboda, U-M’s associate athletic director for external communications, says replacing obsolete equipment was the main driver for the renovations.
“As equipment failed, it became increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to replace, to repair, to source,” Svoboda says.
Officials say the new scoreboards will last at least 10 years and will be much easier to replace.
The $41 million dollar project includes an updated production studio in Crisler Center, which controls the action for all the fields. In addition, scoreboards for soccer, field hockey, baseball, softball, and Cliff Keen Arena are being updated as well.
Jeremy Carroll is the content strategist for the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.