ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – With all the furor over Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the Cardinals are quietly making a major investment in their stadium and “one-upping” the Chicago Cubs at the same time.
Busch Stadium is getting new high definition scoreboards throughout the seating area of the ballpark.
They’ll be ready for the opener. You won’t be able to miss them: two massive new outfield video boards. One of them will measure nearly 5,000 square-feet.
While it won’t be the biggest in Major League Baseball, it’ll be bigger than anything at Wrigley Field. Piece by piece, workers were assembling Busch Stadium’s new centerfield centerpiece, Wednesday: an eye-popping video board, 40’ by 120’ (4800 sq. ft.) when complete.
“The brightness will be twice as good as what we’ve seen in the old board,” said Joe Abernathy, Cardinals head of stadium operations. “The video portion can be three times as large as what we had in the old board. So I think it will be striking.”
Along with the centerfield board, every board in the seating bowl is being replaced: bullpen boards, ribbon boards, pitch count boards.
Most of the smaller ones are still under wraps. The right field board, 3,200 square-feet, is in.
The Cardinals aren’t releasing the exact cost, but did say the total is in the millions of dollars. With video review of umpires’ calls now part of the game, the team didn’t want to put off the upgrades.
“Now it’s starting to be part of that experience here in the park. We want folks to be able to see that in HD just like they could if they were at home,” Abernathy said.
Plus, the rival Cubs have new video boards; one them just under 4,000 square feet.
The Cardinals say the Busch Stadium improvements aren’t about the Cubs. Still, bigger is certainly better.
“You’ve seen some of those big scoreboards in Milwaukee. Kansas City’s got a big one. Now even the Cubs have one. We’re just kind of keeping up with the standard that is out there in the broadcast industry,” Abernathy said.
The new boards will be ready opening day. The old boards began coming out right after the World Cup soccer match at Busch in November. Being “SD-Standard Definition” video, they are obsolete and will be scrapped for parts.