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New high-definition video board further illustrates Jeff Vinik’s commitment to enhancing fans’ experience

by Peter Pupello / Tampa Bay Lightning

When it comes to Jeff Vinik and his commitment to upgrading the Tampa Bay Times Forum, actions speak louder than words.

His latest endeavor exemplifies that.


Coming on the heels of a $42 million renovation project last summer that included brand new seats, a pipe organ, hanging tesla coils and four open viewing areas, Vinik’s most recent gift to fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm and all other guests of the Times Forum comes in the form of a $5 million video scoreboard that is set to be installed just in time for the start of the 2012-13 regular season.

It will be loud. And bold, too.

The display is said to feature the largest high-definition, center-hung video panels in any arena throughout the United States and Canada. It will include a state-of-the-art control room and allow for a true high-definition signal with 1,296 lines of resolution.

“We recognized the need to hang an appropriate state-of-the-art video board in the arena following this past summer’s renovations,” Times Forum Chief Operating Officer Steve Griggs said. “We believe it will be recognized nationally for its innovation, quality and fan-friendliness, as it promises to be among the best in North America and allows us to further enhance the in-arena presentation for all of our events.”

A look at the new scoreboard which will greet fans at the start of the 2012-13 season.

The existing scoreboard, installed in 2007, measures 16 feet high by 28 feet wide on each of the four sides. It offers an HD-quality display, but differs slightly from the new system, which will offer true high-definition picture quality.

The project itself is being spearheaded by renowned industry leader Daktronics, which will incorporate four large video panels equipped with the latest technology capable of creating a digital canvas on which to present video, animation, graphics, scores and statistics in unlimited layouts. The two largest displays will measure approximately 28 feet high by 50 feet wide, while the two smaller panels will be positioned at the ends of the larger ones, and measure 28 feet high by 20 feet wide.

By comparison, the arena’s current video board measures 16 feet high by 28 feet wide on all four sides. The new system, however, will offer four times as much display space on the sidelines as its predecessor, and twice as much display space on the end zones.

As recently as 2011, Daktronics also added 14 digital LED ribbon boards inside the seating bowl along with a 360 degree ribbon board in the arena bowl and a digital dasherboard at ice level, which is expected to nicely complement the new video display system.

Much like the arena’s summer facelift, which also included the addition of a rooftop party deck, the new video system is being privately funded by Vinik himself, further extending his commitment to the organization and its fans.

“We’re excited to deliver this incredible, one-of-a-kind system that will certainly ‘wow’ fans for many years to come,” said Daktronics Regional Sales Manager Brent Stevens. “It’s another large investment and significant upgrade the ownership group, led by Mr. Vinik, has made to the venue to make the game day experience the very best it can be.”

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