Tacoma Rainiers unveil new widescreen video board

In celebration of the 50th season of baseball at historic Cheney Stadium, the Tacoma Rainiers are releasing renderings of the brand new video board and electronics system that fans will experience on Opening Night, April 17th.

The upgrades will include a state-of-the-art widescreen video board, a 150-foot wide animated LED display, and a brand new scoreboard with digital radar speed pitch.

The video board, built by Daktronics Inc., will be the largest HD display in all of Minor League baseball, according to team spokesperson Geoff Corkum. With innovative capabilities, the new video board can serve as a single 50′ x 25′ display or be divided into multiple zones (windows) to show a variety of statistics, information, graphics animation and both live and recorded video. With the state-of-the-art video board, fans will be able to experience a brand new type of game entertainment that will include video replays, highlights, blooper reels, in-game promotions, skits, out-of-town game scores and more.

“We’re thrilled to debut this new technology as we launch our 50th anniversary season,” Rainiers President Aaron Artman said. “It’s great for fans. It’s great for partners and advertisers. And it’s great for the community.”

The project is part of a $2.5 million dollar renovation originally funded by the state in 2006, with both the funding and project management under the control of the City of Tacoma.

In addition to the video board, a rolling 150-foot LED video display will show wide-angle images, colorful animation as well as vivid graphics that will stretch just above the left field wall. This enhancement not only allows for some fan entertainment, but is also a dynamic way to display partner messages and advertising.

“It’s entertainment, first and foremost, because we can do some great animations that the fans will love,” Artman said. “And it’s powerful for partners because they can bring to life their messaging on technology that is literally in every single fan’s view every time a play takes place.”

Just beyond the wall in right-center field, fans will see a brand new scoreboard with enhanced capabilities. This season, in addition to the traditional baseball statistics and box scores, a digital radar speed pitch will let fans instantaneously track how hard their favorite pitcher is throwing pitch-by-pitch.

One partnership that has grown with the addition of these video capabilities is between the Tacoma Rainiers and Bates Technical College. These two longtime South Sound entities have teamed up to allow skilled and experienced Bates Technical College students to work with Rainiers staff to facilitate and run the new video board, LED and scoreboard.

The components to the new video board system are currently being installed at Cheney Stadium and will be operational during the 2009 season and beyond.

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For additional images of the new features, visit the Index’s blog at http://i.feedtacoma.com/TDI-Reporters-Notebook/