On the occasion of today’s unveiling of the largest scoreboard in baseball, let us ponder this question: How much bigger can scoreboards get?
This one — in Cleveland’s Progressive Field — is another creation of the Minnesota and South Dakota-based Daktronics, which has been meeting the demand of the scoreboard arms race.
It will take about 20 people to operate Cleveland’s new scoreboard. It contains 10.6 million LEDs.
The total cost of the project — $16 million — was paid for with a county tax on alcohol and cigarettes. It was originally imposed to pay for new sports arenas but was extended by voters in 2014 because the stadiums it built needed refurbishing.
The company is also installing new scoreboards for the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers. It’s also installing new scoreboards for eight minor league teams.
Daktronics, which has a plant in Redwood Falls, Minn., was started by two engineering professors at South Dakota State University in 1968, according to this profile by CBS’ Sunday Morning. When it started, the two didn’t even know what the product was they were going to make. They just wanted to give local kids a reason not to leave town.