September 16, 2013

Preparations Being Made For Installation Of New Football Video Scoreboard & Sound System

Big Rapids, Mich. - Ferris State University fans traveling near Top Taggart Field on the FSU campus will soon notice a major change as ongoing preparations continue to be made for the arrival and installation of the Bulldogs' new Daktronics scoreboard and sound system at the stadium.

The new scoreboard, which includes a LED video board, was approved by the Ferris State board of trustees in early July and is expected to be in place for the Bulldogs' homecoming matchup against Saginaw Valley State on Oct. 5 at Top Taggart Field.

The new scoreboard will stand 29 feet, nine inches tall by 25 feet wide and feature a video display board eight-feet, nine inches tall by 15-feet wide. The board also include a sound display six-feet tall by eight-feet wide.

"We're excited about this project for so many reasons.  Before we have even flipped the switch, the elements of our new board have already created resources and marketing elements that we have never had at Top Taggart Field," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "The ability for everyone in the stadium - fans, alumni, advertisers, media and the players themselves - to interact and engage with this new technology will add such a new and very exciting dimension to the Bulldog game day experience. 

"It will be a great resource and marketing tool for us," he added. "We're looking forward to putting it on display during Homecoming weekend and the game versus Saginaw Valley."

Work crews are currently busy preparing for the board's arrival and setting pier footings along with posts for the new system, which will arrive on site in the near future. The board is expected to be up and functioning by late September with the old scoreboard being removed soon thereafter to allow ample time for training and coordination with those who will be operating the new board.

Local residents along with staff and students on campus near the stadium should be aware that testing of the new Sportsound 1500 HD sound system will take place towards the end of the month and early October following installation and before homecoming weekend.    The enhanced directional sound system utilizes the latest technology and features in sporting event audio and is designed to provide a much clearer sound originating from a single cluster of speakers that sits atop the new scoreboard.  

More details on when testing of the new sound system will take place will be announced and communicated to local and campus community residents in the near future.  The Ferris State football team also uses the sound system for game preparation purposes and normally practices this fall from approximately 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

High precision components, low distortion and a broad, smooth coverage are hallmarks of the Sportsound 1500 HD sound system. It features a 20 bit/48K digital signal processing system, engineered waveguides and high frequency lenses along with an on-board diagnostics system and global power configurations. The system is rated to withstand hurricane force winds and offers UV protection.

"I've watched Ferris State University meticulously manage the improvement of the game day production, and the newly-installed sound system with close to 4000 watts of amplifier power, long excursion woofers, mids and high frequency compression drivers mounted in one of the industry's most highest weather resistant cabinets is going to provide FSU fans an exciting new experience featuring high voice comprehension," said Mike Maloney, a regional audio sales associate with Daktronics.

The Sportsound 1500HD is a turnkey sound system employing highly reliable low latency digital technologies. In addition to providing high impact vocal projection and bass energy beyond any other comparable product, the 1500HD has been designed to handle a wide variety of input sources, and provides a variety of output options. The system safely and accurately integrates into the support structure of a video board, or scoreboard, to provide an exceptional fan experience. 

"The sound system combined with the video board that Ferris State Athletics is implementing will bring an added element of excitement for FSU players, students and fans," said Kyle Sydow, regional development director at Daktronics Sports Marketing. "The audio will be loud, clear, and sure to get the crowd engaged in the game. Daktronics is excited to partner with Ferris State as they continue to improve their game day experience."

The modernized board will also provide advertising opportunities for the athletics department in the form of five sponsor panels, three feet by five feet below the scoreboard and two five-foot by eight-foot, nine-inch sponsor panels on each side of the video display.  Individual messages and announcements (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc) will also be available and sold by Bulldog Athletics.

The funding for the project, which has been a priority for the University, came from a reserve fund within the physical plant budget, the Office of Administration and Finance and direct advertising revenue generated from net sales by the athletics department.

The new technology also will put FSU on par or above competing schools in Division II in providing an entertaining game day experience. It will replace the previous system that dated back to the 1980's.

"From the fan experience to our student-athletes and a recruiting perspective, this has been a need for a long time," said FSU Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles. "The upside and possibilities for this technology are endless. We now have the opportunity to cross promote other events and sports, grow our inventory and sponsorship capabilities with our local, regional and national advertisers."

For more information on how you can advertise or display a message, please contact Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles at (231) 591-2864.

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