Maryland is hoping to have a successful debut in the Big Ten this year. With it, athletic department officials are hoping to enhance the experience of the fans both at Byrd Stadium and the recently renamed Xfinity Center.
The athletic department announced Thursday that the giant videoboards at both venues have been upgraded for this season. There will be a new LED display at Byrd Stadium – including one with closed captioning – and side displays on a new Daktronic videoboard at the Xfinity Center.
The cost of the project is $3.9 million, which will be raised through ticket sales and sponsorship without the aid of tax, tuition or general university funds, according to an athletic department spokesman,
The videoboard at Byrd Stadium was 14 years old and had "operational issues" last season, spokesman Zack Bolno said. The costs for replacement parts had become more expensive and harder to find because of the advancement in technology.
Bolno also said ticket sales for football are up 25 percent from a year ago.
“We are in a highly competitive marketplace and it is imperative that we continue to provide our fans with one of the best gameday environments in the country,” Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “Through our research, the gameday atmosphere must be unique and special and something our fans can’t experience at home. This is an exciting time at the University of Maryland and we look forward to delivering a world-class fan experience in College Park.”
Here are more details from Maryland's news release:
** New LED display upgrades will be featured at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium. Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium will be receiving one large ribbon and one smaller ribbon display, which will incorporate a 15HD pixel layout and provide the opportunity to showcase sponsors, up-to-the-minute statistics and game information
** An additional two message displays, featuring closed captioning, will be installed beneath the east end zone videoboard on the left and right sides of the Gossett Football Team House
** Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium and the XFINITY Center will feature a new video control room to service both venues
** Increased cellular coverage and service with the installation of DAS (Distributed Antennae System) at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium and the XFINITY Center.
** A new centerhung Daktronic’s videoboard at the XFINITY Center will boast two side displays measuring approximately 12.5 feet high by 33 feet wide and two end displays measuring approximately 9 feet high by 16.5 feet wide
** The videoboard is capable of showing one large image to highlight live video and instant replays and can also be divided into separate windows to show a variety of vivid graphics, colorful animations, up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information and sponsor advertisements
** Four message displays, featuring closed captioning, will also be installed in the XFINITY Center, one for each corner of the facility
** All of the displays provided by Daktronics will incorporate excellent image clarity and contrast with wide angle visibility to keep all Terp fans immersed in the gameday action. The outdoor displays will also provide multiple levels of protection from the elements.