Saturday, August 22, 2009
Aka, “Yeah, no, just make it higher.” Done! If only it were that simple.
Watching the Cowboys last night in their new $1.15 billion with a B taxpayer-funded sportsplex, I’m guessing owner Jerry Jones was on his cell with stadium architect HKS asking what in the hell they plan on doing about their little problem.
The one problem where Tennessee punter AJ Trapasso hit the new 600 ton with a T, 160’ long x 72’ tall, $40 million dollar scoreboard.
When your scoreboard costs more than the last stadium you had (Texas Stadium, $35 million), moving it’s gonna be tough. The lowest point is 90’ off the surface, not really a challenge for the average punter. Given the current use of Skycams over the field and the unique challenges they present, surprised this hasn’t happened more.
Raising the screens is going to ruin a lot of sight lines that Jerry showed off during the halftime show too. The ones in the standing room only sections that hold 35,000 fans. (At $29 a ticket, that’s $8.1 million in home game ticket revenue alone.)
The solution I’d have suggested initially would now be hella expensive to pull off so close to the first game of the season, but here goes: Keep the same height, keep the four screens, but as indicated in red below, move each out to an imaginary sideline extending straight up vertically and out of the field of play:
This allows an even closer view of the monitors for fans.
Plus, you’ve now created the equivalent of a foul ball pole in baseball. If the ball hits it, you know it's out and the play is not affected. As it is now, it’s treated as a do-over as it was Friday night.
You can also run screens on the back side of each one for a total of eight, visible from any seat in the house. More ad revenue for Jerry.
Otherwise, here’s what’s on next week when the Monday late-night talk show cycle kicks in: Jones’ new toy just made the top 10 of every staff writer’s list.
Worse though, imagine your team makes it to the Super Bowl the year they have it at the new Cowboys’ stadium. Maybe even a game that would decide if you were going to make the playoffs.
FF >> final play, your team down by six about to receive a punt with almost no time left. The football gods being fickle like they are, this one was going to be returned for six, until “doink.”
The football gods do not repeat their miracles.
This time, your team is stopped. It’s one thing to know your team lost because of fog or a freak snowstorm. It would be the ultimate suck to know it was because of something inside the stadium, a state of the art facility designed to shelter the team from the elements.*
Of course, Jerry could make lemonade here and co-promote with Taco Bell to offer fans a free taco whenever a punter hits the scoreboard.
*Useless trivia: The Oakland Raiders’ Ray Guy hit the gondola of the Louisiana Super Dome during a Pro Bowl. appearance.