Final Four To Feature Largest Portable Center-Hung Scoreboard, Courtesy GoVision and Dallas Cowboys
This weekend’s Final Four will offer a first for fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. GoVision will construct a massive octagonal LED center-hung scoreboard comprising 15- x 28-ft. Daktronics HD12 video screens. Besides being the largest portable center-hung scoreboard ever assembled, it hints at a new scoreboard-related revenue stream because, during the NFL season, it can be seen entertaining fans in the plaza area outside Cowboys Stadium.
“We have a unique partnership with the Cowboys, with eight big screens on the plaza that we take out of the plaza during the offseason and share the revenues back with the Cowboys,” says GoVision CEO Chris Curtis. “We have a similar deal with Texas Christian University.”
This year’s NCAA tournament is the second in a row for which GoVision has handled the scoreboards. Last year, the company hung screens in the corners of Detroit’s Ford Field, but, this year, the leap was made to center-hanging the eight boards, with four displaying video and four displaying the score and scoring information.
“The spectators in Lucas Oil Stadium will have an awesome experience,” says Curtis. “The experience for 70,000 fans watching basketball [in a stadium] is greatly enhanced with the center-hung boards.”
Standalone Ribbon Board
Another innovation for Final Four will be a 2.5-ft.-high ribbon board located courtside. Because the game will be played on a court raised off the ground, there will be no scorer’s table on which to mount the ribbon board. So the scoreboard will be freestanding.
“We also used that scoreboard for the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas,” Curtis points out.
He says Texas Christian and the Dallas Cowboys provide plenty of rental inventory for the spring and summer, but his company is on the hunt for a baseball or softball team that could install a portable screen that would be available during the football season, when the TCU and Cowboys screens are in use.
“This type of deal isn’t something we actively pursue, but it’s a win-win, with events like the Final Four and PGA golf adding video boards,” he says. “”We’re such a visual society now, and anything that wants to be a big event needs video.”
Rent Instead of Buy
The economics of renting a scoreboard for a school or smaller professional sports team make sense, especially if there are only six or seven events, such as home college football games.
“If a school doesn’t have the cap-ex budget to buy a new scoreboard, renting is a good alternative,” Curtis says. “Plus you can have the latest and greatest in scoreboard technology, and we’ll take better care of it because the other clients who want to rent the board can be picky. And if there is a major catastrophe, we put in a different system. It’s truly a win-win.”
GoVision was founded by Curtis in 2003 (he previously worked with Screenworks, now owned by NEP) and is based in Argyle, TX, where he says the company continues to grow.
“There is a lot of sports work, especially in Division III and Division II football,” he says. “And now sports venues that traditionally didn’t have scoreboards, like softball, are adding video.”