Posted: Jun 2, 2011 5:45 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2011 7:18 AM
TUCSON - School is out, but big things are still happening at the University of Arizona. All summer long, crews are working to install a new massive video scoreboard at Arizona Stadium.
You will likely run into some construction on Sixth Street, west of National Championship Drive. There, westbound traffic on Sixth has been shifted to the center turn lane for about 700 feet.
Currently, crews are putting the foundation in place, hoping to get the scoreboard up and running in time for first Wildcat football game, at home, against Northern Arizona University on September 3rd.
Former Arizona football player John Fina remembers the wins and losses from his days on the team.
"There were some great moments here and some not great moments here," Fina said.
He played on the field at Arizona Stadium from 1987 to 1991and then went on to the NFL to play for both the Buffalo Bills and the Arizona Cardinals.
"I've seen some pretty big scoreboards in my day, but the one they have planned here puts all of them to shame," Fina said.
At 112 feet across and more than 5 thousand square feet, the new high-definition scoreboard will be about 6 and a half times bigger than the current screen. It is said to be the biggest in the West and one of the biggest in the NCAA.
"What you are going to see is really, what I think, one of the most attractive stadiums in college football become up to date," Fina said.
The new video scoreboard is a $5 million project that U of A Athletic Director Greg Byrne hopes will improve fan involvement.
"The video board will go from something people look to occasionally during a game to see a replay to something people are going to be watching almost as much as they are watching the field," Byrne said.
Fina says players will also be able to learn from the full-screen replays and teams may use playbacks to influence officials. But there could also be something in it for the Wildcats.
"They're not going to put something up on the board that is going to help the opposition. It's called home field advantage and you have to take advantage of it any way you can," Fina said.
Click here to watch live construction of the new video scoreboard.
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