By Travis Morgan
Iowa City, IA - Kinnick Stadium will get a new score board and sound system in time for the fall 2013 season.
The state Board of Regents Thursday approved the UI proposal with little discussion during a meeting in Cedar Falls.
The lease financing for the project will cover $8 million, and the total project cost — covering purchase of equipment, the screens and sound system, control room and installation — is expected to be about $9 million, UI officials said. The cost will be funded with UI Athletics Department gifts and earnings, and no tax dollars or tuition dollars will be used.
The existing video walls, control room equipment and sound system at Kinnick are eight years old, UI Athletics Director Gary Barta said. Technology in that time has made great strides, and most of the UI's competitors have high definition video boards in their stadiums, Barta said.
"Think about the television sets in your own home, the amount of technology change just since 2005," Barta said. "Well, that's what's happened with our video boards. When we put them in in 2005 they were state-of-the-art. Since then HD has come along."
Some mechanical pieces on the current boards — the pieces that rotate to show advertisements — are obsolete, Barta said, making it hard to find parts and repair them.
In the south end zone, the current structure will be used, but the new board will be all high definition video screen with no mechanical parts on the side — much more vibrant and crisp, Barta said.
"It will look differently but the placement is similar" to the current system, he said.
It's a tight timeline, but the project will be completed for this fall's football season, Barta said.
The new video display and sound system for Kinnick will be purchased from Daktronics, Inc., at a cost of up to $4.5 million. That's the same company from which Iowa State University purchased a new video board recently.
The UI project includes a large screen video display system within the existing south end zone