Ken Babby will be making an immediate impact on Canal Park for Akron Aeros (Class AA; Eastern League) fans, as the team announces a privately funded $1.65-million HD videoboard project for the 2013 season.
The project includes the installation of the largest videoboard in Double-A baseball, and one of the five largest in all of Minor League Baseball, and an HD LED ribbon board display in left-center field.
“The video board is just part of our commitment to our fans and the city of Akron. We are obsessed about giving our fans the very best experience possible and this is one of many new enhancements Aeros’ fans can look forward to in 2013,” said new Aeros owner Ken Babby, who signed a 30-year lease extension with the city of Akron and a four-year player development agreement extension with the Cleveland Indians in October.
The new main video board will have a crisp and vibrant HD15 screen and have an active display area of a height of 26 feet and width of 68 feet. Together with the 8’x3’ digital line score board, there will be almost 2,000 square feet of HD LED display, making it the largest in Double-A baseball. It will be almost four times the size of the previous video board, which was installed in 2006, measuring 18’x25’ and covering 450 square feet. Together with the 6’x54’ ribbon board and the 8’x3’ digital line score board that will run below the main video board, there will be 2,314 total square feet of LED display, more than five times of the previous Canal Park setup.
The fans will notice the difference with instant replays from and live HD video on the new main LED board with more than 281 trillion colors utilized, compared to the 16 million colors typical of an LCD HDTV. More than $300,000 in video equipment upgrades include five HD cameras that will capture all of the exciting action on the field and the fun in the stands. Fans will also be able to stay up to date on out-of-town scores and other game information on the integrated new LED ribbon board in left-center field.
The new board will present the Aeros with creative options for nightly promotions, in-game contests, and fan interactions as well as enhancing the game information with displayed lineups and real-time statistical updates.
“This video board project is all about giving the fans in Akron the best entertainment in Northeast Ohio. We pride ourselves on providing affordable family entertainment and fans will certainly get their money’s worth this season with an unparalleled experience at the ballpark,” said Aeros general manager Jim Pfander.
The Aeros teamed up with Daktronics for project design. “Daktronics is proud to team with the Akron Aeros to design and install this state-of-the-art LED display for Canal Park and the city of Akron. I think the new video board will really excite the fans with its clarity, brightness and versatility and make the in-game entertainment something special,” said Daktronics sales representative Daryl Mihal.
“Akron has long been committed to hard work and innovation as pathways to success. Our new board will be the best in its class in terms of quality, size and technical specifications,” said Babby.
Todd Semple and Jack Wrightson of Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc., served as consultants during the bidding process and Glen Stephens and Pete Popovic of G.Stephens, Inc., are overseeing the construction management.
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