Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum are getting new video boards and sound systems before the start of next season, Virginia Tech’s Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Affairs Tom Gabbard said Wednesday.
Gabbard gave some more details to the plans, which I wrote about for Thursday’s paper. Here are some quick hits from my conversation with him Wednesday …
– The video boards will be high-definition LED display. The Request for Proposal for Lane Stadium is currently out. That project is the priority, since the football season comes first. Bids are due March 1. Tech hopes to pick one on April 1. Construction won’t begin until after graduation. The board is expected to be done by Aug. 1.
– The one in Lane Stadium will be 48.2 feet tall by 108.2 feet wide. The current one, built in 2005, is about 28 feet by 38 feet. “This will dwarf it big-time,” Gabbard said. The structure itself won’t be much larger than the existing one, however. The video board will just be a larger portion of it.
– Take this list for what it’s worth because of the source, but the project would put Tech’s video board as the eight-largest nationally of college stadiums.
– Tech looked at a couple of boards around the country in modeling this one: Michigan State, Ohio State, Auburn, Wake Forest, North Carolina and some professional ones.
– Why upgrade? “It’s a lot of keeping up with the Joneses,” Gabbard said. “And as you know, this business is many times a facility battle on who has got the greatest, latest. So when we put the boards up originally we were very competitive and better than most in our conference. And now in the conference North Carolina has done a good job. Wake Forest has done a good job. So we need to keep moving forward.”
– The cost for to upgrade the board at Lane Stadium is about $3 million. The sound system is about $700,000. Upgrading the studio to support all of the new technologies will be about $800,000 for both Lane and Cassell. IMG College, which does Virginia Tech’s sports network, is paying for it.
– The Cassell board will be significantly larger too. Gabbard didn’t have an exact size yet because the Request for Proposal for that project isn’t out.
– Gabbard said there’s still no update on the indoor football practice facility. There’s been lots of talk about sites to review, but nothing has been decided yet. “We’re going to do it,” Gabbard said. “I just don’t know where yet.”