New Kinnick Video Board Will Be Ready for Fall 2013

By Diane Heldt, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Kinnick Stadium will get a new score board and sound system in time for the fall 2013 season.

The state Board of Regents approved the UI proposal with little discussion Thursday during a meeting in Cedar Falls.

The master lease for the entire project, which covers purchase of equipment and installation, is expected not to exceed $9 million. The cost will be funded with UI Athletics Department gifts and earnings, and no tax dollars or tuition dollars will be used.

The new video display and sound system for Kinnick will be purchased from Daktronics, Inc., at a cost of up to $4.5 million. That's the same company from which Iowa State University purchased a new video board recently.

The UI project includes a large screen video display system within the existing south end zone structure, video displays in the northeast and northwest end zone corners and a ribbon display to be installed above the seating along the north side of Kinnick Stadium. That ribbon display will show game information, video, scores and advertising. In addition to those four video displays, the purchase includes two game clocks and four delay-of-game clocks.

The existing video walls, control room equipment and sound system at Kinnick are eight years old, officials said. Technology in that time has made great strides, and most of the UI's competitors now have high definition video boards in their stadiums, UI Athletics Director Gary Barta said.

"Think about the television sets in your own home, the amount of technology change just since 2005," Barta said. "Well, that's what's happened with our video boards. When we put them in in 2005 they were state-of-the-art. Since then, HD has come along."

Some mechanical pieces on the current score board also are obsolete, not currently working and hard to find parts for and repair, Barta said.

It's a tight timeline, but the project will be completed for this fall's football season, Barta said.

One piece of the project -- the infrastructure updates necessary for installation -- nearly doubled in price after bids came back. UI officials said that was due to a mistaken calculation on steel prices, along with the tight timeline. But the entire project cost is still expected to remain below $8 million, they said.
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