U.S. Cellular Field will go from the smallest video board in the majors to one of the largest in 2016 after the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority approved a $7.3 million renovation plan.
The home field of the White Sox will boast three new video boards -- including one between 7,000-8,000 square feet above center field -- next season as they give the 24-year-old venue a much-needed technical upgrade. Brooks Boyer, the team’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the additions have been on his wish list for “a long time.” Boyer also said the ballpark would have other new additions, though he didn’t include details on those.
“We will have a lot of things going on,” Boyer said. “So, come Opening Day next year, it’s going to look a lot different. Obviously this adds a lot of flexibility to our game presentation for our sponsors and to ultimately create a better entertainment experience for our fans.”
Under an agreement with the ISFA, a clause kicks in requiring the White Sox facility, opened in 1991, to receive an item once it’s owned by 75 percent of all teams, in this case a High-Definition video board. Earlier this season, the Cubs and San Diego Padres installed brand new HD video boards, which triggered the clause and paved the way for the White Sox to receive one of their own.
The boards in left and right field are expected to be around 2,500 square feet, Boyer said. Those currently in place consistently malfunction and have been inoperable at times over the past few seasons. Boyer said the company that installed the board in right field in 2009 has since gone into bankruptcy, which has made it difficult to repair.
“Every year we’ve tried to add improvements for our fans in the ballpark,” Boyer said. “And next year is no different. There will be some changes that will come in addition to the boards. But we’re not ready to talk about those just yet.”
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Check out the ISFA's rendering from Ecker's report: