New video scoreboards for Michigan Stadium

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Michigan Stadium with new video boards Image: Barton Malow

The Michigan Stadium (US) will have two new video scoreboards by the Fall of 2023.

‘The Detroit News’ stated that the University Regents recently approved a request by the University of Michigan Athletic Director, Warde Manuel, to replace the current video scoreboards, which will cost an estimated $12 million as part of a multilevel project. The boards are at the North and South ends of the stadium.

The 1,07,601-capacity Michigan Stadium, nicknamed ‘The Big House’, is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US. It is the largest stadium in the United States and the Western Hemisphere, the third largest stadium in the world and the 34th largest sports venue in the world.

‘The Detroit News’ further stated that the entire project will cost an estimated $41 million and includes replacing the audio system in the entire stadium, production room upgrades in Crisler Center, infrastructure and design fees, and safety additions. It will be funded by the Athletic Department gifts.

Rob Rademacher, Michigan Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO), told the Regents in his presentation, “We plan to fully fund this upfront with athletic department gifts that are restricted for capital purposes. We will not be touching our operating budget with this, and its all gift funds. We don’t anticipate any additional operating expenses with this project or additional personnel needed to run the new technology.”

The new scoreboards will be the same height as the current boards, but will be wider.

Manuel, in an “action request” letter submitted to the Regents and made public recently as part of the meeting agenda, said the video scoreboards which were installed in 2011, have obsolete technology.

Added Rademacher, “(The project) focuses on aging technology that’s become incredibly difficult to maintain, source replacement parts. And we have production equipment we no longer support the video quality required today.”

In his breakdown of the $41 million project, Rademacher indicated another $12 million chunk will pay for infrastructure, site work and design fees. The SmithGroup Inc. architectural firm will design the project. The Michigan Stadium audio system also will be replaced for $5 million, there will be an upgrade to the catwalk access to service the videoboards, which will cost $4 million.

There are three production studios within Crisler Center and require upgrades that Rademacher said will cost an estimated $8 million.
Here’s the breakdown of the $41 million approved:

  • Michigan Stadium North and South videoboard replacement: $12 million;
  • Infrastructure, site work, design fees: $12 million;
  • Production room upgrades (in Crisler Center): $8 million;
  • Audio system replacement at Michigan Stadium: $5 million; and
  • Permanent safety additions for access (to videoboards): $4 million.

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