Huge Scoreboard A Huge Construction Project

College football's biggest video board has kept construction crews quite busy around the clock on Auburn University's campus.

Auburn, Ala.--Wendy Peacock says the new super-sized scoreboard/video board at Jordan-Hare Stadium has been an interesting project to oversee.

“We have been on 24-hour shifts for probably the past two months,” said Peacock, who is an Auburn University construction manager.

“We are finishing up this week with the 24-hour shifts,” she noted. “That is unusual for a campus project. Most of them are done Monday through Friday, eight hours a day--maybe 10 hours if it chooses to do so.

Wendy Peacock has managed construction projects at Jordan-Hare Stadium for several years.

“We don’t normally do night work so it’s been a challenge in that aspect of having someone here all the time and knowing that you can never shut your phone off,” she pointed out. “You have to answer the phone calls.”

The $13.9 million project looks like it will come in on budget and on-time with several weeks to test the Daktronics video board and new sound system before the Auburn football team plays its home opener on September 12th vs. Jacksonville State. The Tigers will open the season a week earlier vs. Louisville in a game being played in Atlanta.

The video board screen (above) has been installed. Below a construction worker is strapped in while working on installing power to the board.

The project, with a huge crane stationed just outside the south end zone stands, has attracted plenty of attention since construction began in February.

“It is over 700 tons of steel,” Peacock said of the new scoreboard structure. “The steel is actually being fabricated in Cullman, Ala., in NAFCO’s facility.

We are on schedule currently,” she said. “We are suppose to pull off site around August 28.”

Construction workers are shown at the top of the scoreboard.

With the short time line and the scope of the project, Jordan-Hare Stadium has been busy with activity. “We do not have a prime (contractor),” Peacock pointed out. “Brasfield & Gorrie is our construction manager that we hired, and we have eight primes that are on the project. It is very complex.”

The video display, which has been installed, measures approximately 57 feet tall by 190 feet wide with 8.7 million LED pixels producing the images. One large image can be displayed or multiple images with a combination of live video, replays, statistics, graphics or animations.

The video screen is comprised of smaller individual boards (above) that can be easily removed for service or replacement. The individual boards can be installed (below) after a slide locking system is opened.

Because of the size and shape of the scoreboard, the wind load is substantial and required the engineers to come up with a strong design to make sure it is not damaged by the weather.

“The wind load, from what I’ve been told, has been graded for a category-four hurricane,” Peacock says. “Now, that doesn’t mean that things won’t fall off the board, but it does mean that it will withstand the winds and the steel will hold up.”

A view of the stadium and parts of the campus can be seen from the east side of the scoreboard.

Another view (above) of the stadium is shown from the scoreboard while (below) the Tiger Walk Plaza is seen from the backside of the scoreboard.

The construction manager said the new video board is approximately six times larger than the previous one that was also built by Daktronics, which makes it the largest ever built at a college football stadium. That company has also been assigned to upgrade the stadium’s sound system.

“It’s a little more surround,” Peacock said of the audio system. “They’ve added a few more speakers and Daktronics has been working through all the speakers in the stadium. I think they are almost complete by this week. The audio cabinets you can see up on top of the video board, those are being connected and they won’t be on until later this month. You’ll have more of a surround sound.”

Plainsman Park (above) is seen from the backside of the new scoreboard and the football team's indoor field (below) can be seen from the scoreboard.

The project also includes new ribbon boards on the east and west stands. Each is 435 feet long and 3 1/2 feet tall. “The ones previously were just a little bit outdated as far as technology,” Peacock said. “Since they were doing the video board it just made sense to go ahead and package it and replace the ribbon boards and make sure that we get the full experience on both sides of the upper deck.”

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