Boards Will Be Largest of any Stadium
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Houston is about to have the biggest of all in one category. The Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation has approved the purchase of two new, digital LED video scoreboards for Reliant Stadium. "They're gonna be 25% larger than the previous largest video board in a sports stadium, which is up in Dallas," says Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes. The video boards, designed by Mitsubishi, will be 52 feet tall and 277 feet wide with crystal clear HD images. That's not only larger than Dallas, but makes them the largest boards of any NFL or Major League Baseball stadium.
The price tag for the project is $16 million, which will be paid up front by the Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The team and the rodeo will later be reimbursed from Reliant Stadium's repair and replacement fund, which comes from taxes on hotels and rental cars. Rootes tells KTRH this is a worthy investment to keep the ten-year-old stadium at the top of its game. "People do still see Reliant Stadium as a new building, and that's because of the ongoing investment that's been made into this building to keep it state-of-the-art." In this case, he says, the Texans and the Rodeo knew an upgrade was in order. "Our video boards were at or even beyond their useful life, and there were challenges in maintaining those going forward, so we were at the point where we needed to do something."
Another big factor in the upgrade is Houston's pending bid to host Super Bowl LI in 2017. "These video boards will be an integral component of the presentation that we'll make to the National Football League in May," says Rootes. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hinted that the new scoreboards could help Houston's chances during his visit to Houston in October, although the decision on where to host the game will be up to NFL owners, not Goodell. Rootes says the new boards will create a "spectacular experience" for fans, which should be a big selling point with the league. The scoreboards will be installed in time for the 2013 football season and the 2014 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
Hear the podcast with Matt Patrick and Houston's Morning News as he talks with Rootes: