Hornet Stadium will have a big-league scoreboard for its big-game athletic teams.
Tuesday night, The Saline Board of Education unanimously approved the purchase of an LED video display scoreboard for $194,936. Installation is expected to cost $15,000. The district is purchasing the scoreboard from Daktronics, Inc.
The scoreboard should be installed in time for the Sept. 1 home-opener against Detroit Mumford.
The scoreboard has the ability to play instant replays, a live feed, shots from the sideline or crowd, highlight videos, commercials and video messages.
The district originally planned to replace the current scoreboard, which has become more unreliable in recent years, next year when bond project dollars are used to replace the turf and make other improvements at Hornet Stadium. But at the behest of Hornet Football Club, which was excited to install the new features this year, the district agreed to push plans up one year. In exchange, Hornet Football Club has committed to raising about $96,000 for the scoreboard in the next six years. The scoreboard has a listed life expectancy of 20 years.
Superintendent Scot Graden said the district has been approached several times by companies willing to essentially give the scoreboard to the district and share some of the lucrative ad sales with the district. Instead, Graden said, the district decided to purchase the scoreboard and manage its own sales. Graden said the district expects to generate ad revenue that will recoup costs and turn a profit for the district.
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Curt Ellis said Novi purchased a similar scoreboard when he was Athletic Director there. But he said, with video teacher Nate Bush and his students, and Chase Stanton and SCTN in the building, Saline will have more capabilities than Novi did.
According to Graden, the scoreboard is basically a video screen that’s entirely black when not in use. Unlike the current scoreboard that relies on wireless technology for communication, the new scoreboard will be hardwired, which should increase reliability.
The scoreboard features will be used for football, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls lacrosse and field hockey. Graden said the new scoreboard will be used at other events like Special Olympics and graduation.
“They can set up a camera down on the field and so that the scoreboard shows each student as they collect their diploma, like they do at EMU,” Graden said.
Graden expected video highlights from indoor sports, like volleyball and water polo, will be featured on the scoreboard. Another idea is to feature elementary school students of the month on the scoreboard.
“It’s a great way to continue building our brand and celebrate that we are a one-high-school town,” Graden said.
Board Vice President Paul Hynek joked it could also be used for a “kiss cam,” a feature often seen during breaks in the action at professional sporting events.
Trustee Karen Delhey noted that the scoreboard was an expensive toy and questioned if there were any security measures to protect the investment. Graden said the devices that control the scoreboard, which is used in the press box, will be secured when not in use. Answering a question from Hynek, Saline High School Principal David Raft said two new security cameras have been installed at Hornet Stadium.
The current scoreboard is the second at Hornet Stadium.
Officials don’t have plans for the existing scoreboard.