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SJSU in the News: Spartan Stadium Upgrades Scoreboards, Sound System

San Jose State scores new stadium scoreboard, sound system

Originally published by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Business Journal Aug. 12, 2011.

By Eli Segall

A college football stadium in the heart of Silicon Valley is finally getting a high-tech upgrade.

Spartan Stadium, home of the San Jose State University football team, is undergoing roughly $1 million of work to upgrade its scoreboards and install a new sound system. The work began in late July and is expected to be completed by late August.

The upgrades are the first phase in a planned overhaul to SJSU’s athletic facilities, which is expected to cost up to $20 million. The stadium upgrades are being financed by SJSU’s athletics department, with the help of a California State University financing program.

One scoreboard, at the south end of the stadium, will be replaced with a high-definition board that has video capability. This is the first time Spartan Stadium will have a permanent video board.

The east side of the stadium will have an LED scoreboard with non-digital advertising panels. It will also include a speaker cabinet that holds the stadium’s new sound system equipment. Previously, sound was piped in through a few dozen speakers scattered throughout the seating areas.

Lastly, the scoreboard at the north end of the stadium will have some LED lighting, replacing an antiquated light bulb system.

All of the new technology was designed by Brookings, S.D.-based Daktronics Inc., which makes display systems for live events, transportation hubs and theaters.

For the past few years, SJSU spent about $140,000 annually to rent a video board for games, said Matt Witty, associate athletic director for business and finance.

The new technology will “enhance” the fans’ game-day experience, said Witty, who acknowledged that many other schools already offer these amenities.

According to Witty, the scoreboards have not had any major upgrades since being installed in the 1980s.

“We’re finally catching up,” he said.

Santa Clara University is one of many schools to already offer this technology. The Leavey Center, home court for volleyball and basketball, has had an LED video board for 10 years, said Jon Clough, Santa Clara University’s senior associate athletic director.

University officials are already considering replacing it, he said.

“It’s just like any appliance,” Clough said. “Ten years is a long time.”

At SJSU, the work comes as officials plan to revamp the school’s athletic facilities.

Among other things, the school reportedly plans to build a new football operations building, a field house and football practice fields.

The rest of the overhaul would be privately financed. Witty said university officials are still raising money and developing project plans.

Eli Segall can be reached at 408.299.1829 or esegall@bizjournals.com.