The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday October 23rd

BOT OKs New Scoreboard for Kenan Stadium

The approval of the video scoreboard sets into motion its installation, which officials hope will be completed for the 2002 season.

The UNC Board of Trustees passed a resolution Thursday granting initial approval to the installation of a video scoreboard in Kenan Stadium, setting in motion a plan that has taken years to come to fruition.

The resolution approved the site for the video scoreboard, which is at the east end of Kenan Stadium behind the University logo and in front of Kenan Field House. The tentative size for the overall structure is about 42 feet wide, 65 feet high and nine feet deep, with the screen itself 24 feet by 32 feet.

Officials envision the screen's support columns to be made of brick veneer with detailed trim pieces of masonry, according to the motion that the BOT approved.

Steve Kirschner, director of sports information, said the BOT is overseeing the proposal because the project will cost $2 million and is a major addition to the University.

Kirschner said coaches and fans have expressed interest in having a video scoreboard for years -- Carolina Athletic Association President-elect Kris Willett even promised in her campaign this year that she would work to obtain a video scoreboard.

Kirschner said that when UNC's multimedia contract came up for renegotiation this year, the Department of Athletics was able to act toward making the scoreboard a reality.

The contract will now have a condition that the company that wins rights to UNC's multimedia contract will ultimately pay the $2 million needed to fund the video scoreboard. UNC's contract is now with Learfield Communications.

In the interim Kirschner said the Educational Foundation will loan the athletics department the necessary $2 million.

Kirschner said UNC will sign with a company for a number of years, and the company would spread its funding over the years rather than give the athletics department $2 million at once. As a result, the Educational Foundation will temporarily supply the entire amount so the scoreboard can be constructed now.

Officials said they hope the scoreboard will be finished by the start of this year's football season.

Kirschner said the video scoreboard can be used for more than just showing replays and statistics, like showcasing other teams or promoting campus events and student achievements. "We think this will add to the experience fans have," he said.

Officials were careful to preserve the aesthetic elements of the stadium with the proposal. "(The scoreboard) needed to fit in with the look of Kenan Stadium," said Kirschner. "We want it to add to people's experience, not detract from what people think of Kenan Stadium."

Junior Tim Ligay said that although he was concerned about the appearance of the scoreboard, he thinks it will be a nice addition to the stadium. "I hear a lot of people talking about how the stadium is very scenic with all the trees around it, and I think the JumboTron might distract from that a little," he said. "But on the other hand, I think it'd be really cool."


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