By Ashley Bray
When administrators at Union Public Schools embarked on a massive renovation of its Union Stadium, they envisioned a facility that reached beyond sports by including a fine arts building and a striking 31-foot-by-55-foot 10mm video display manufactured by Watchfire Signs.
Union Public Schools’ new digital scoreboard is 35% larger than the facility’s previous video board.
The $34 million complex, expected to be completed in 2022, will seat nearly 10,000 spectators, and will include a 5,800-square-foot press box, multiple concession areas, more than 20,000 sqare feet of indoor training facilities, and a new 17,000 sq. ft. band building. The new Watchfire video board will be installed on the facade of the band building by A-Max Sign Company of Tulsa.
“We felt it was important to serve all 16,000 students and the community with this stadium, not just football players and student athletes,” said Lee Snodgrass, executive director of special projects for Union Public Schools. “The Renegade Regiment, the district’s marching band, will actually enter the field from the fine arts building at the north end of the field.”
The stadium will be home to varsity, junior varsity and youth football leagues, as well as the high school’s marching band. In addition, the district is excited about the ability to use the stadium for non-sports events, including hosting movie nights and concerts, such as Tulsa’s Reggaefest. The HD quality video board and upgraded sound system from Watchfire make these events possible.
The new video scoreboard gives the school greater flexibility in how it displays content. The virtual scoreboard can be programmed to show scores, player photos and statistics, animated graphics to fire up the crowd, and live video. Advertising zones will allow the school to generate ad revenue.
Union High School has received nationwide coverage for its programs that make students college- and job-ready, and the operation of the new video board will contribute to this. Students will be responsible for producing the content and player interviews, operating cameras, and programming the board.
Watchfire was awarded the project after a competitive RFP process that sought the highest quality product. “We were especially interested in purchasing a video board from a company with substantial operations in the United States so parts and support would be readily available,” said Snodgrass. “We visited the Watchfire facility, saw where boards were assembled and tested, and walked through the company’s 100,000 ssquare-foot parts building that had a shelf for each customer. We were sold.”
By Ashley Bray