Georgia Tech fans attending Fan Day on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium shouldn’t have trouble noticing the most obvious upgrade for fan experience.
It’s a 750-square foot video board hanging above Callaway Plaza on the stadium’s north end. The board, one of three that the athletic department has installed for its facilities in advance of the fall semester, went up this week.
The primary function for the high-definition board will be messaging and enhancing fan experience on game days. The picture is sharper than the board inside the stadium.
“Other than that, one of the biggest things we see is an opportunity for us to tell our story on a day-to-day basis,” said Derek Grice, associate athletic director for facilities, operations and events. “We get a lot of foot traffic through there. It’s an opportunity for us to make sure that people are aware of what’s going on in the athletic department.”
The vertically oriented screen, 24 feet wide by 31-1/2 feet high, was one of six Daktronics screens that the athletic department purchased for $1.2 million last fall. Three were assembled last spring at Russ Chandler Stadium (baseball). Mewborn Field (softball) and the Ken Byers Tennis Complex in time for those teams’ seasons.
Grice said that department officials began the project with the intent of replacing the baseball and softball boards.
“And while we were in the process of that, when we were talking to vendors, we kind of felt like, why don’t we look at a package deal (for more boards) to see if we can get a better deal,” he said.
Besides the board on Callaway Plaza, the department put up boards inside O’Keefe Gymnasium (volleyball) and the Edge Center, the department’s headquarters. The latter has brightened up a first-floor room that houses trophy and display cases through which staff and visitors pass through regularly.
“It’s going to serve a lot of different purposes,” Grice said.
As is the case with so many recent upgrades at Tech, the board in the Edge building also was planned with an eye toward making an impression on prospects coming to Tech on visits. The Edge Center is often the first place that recruits visit after arriving on campus. Freshening that building and using it to help tell Tech’s story has been a priority of athletic director Todd Stansbury’s.
Grice said the department is working on linking a sound system to link up with the boards at Calllaway Plaza and inside the Edge Center.
“How we utilize that, and when we do that is the next piece,” Grice said.
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