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Coming Soon: The Wrigley Field Video Board

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There's some new information about the video board that should interest you.

Courtesy Chicago Cubs

We've seen the steel supports for Wrigley Field's left-field video board being constructed over the last few weeks.

Tuesday, Chris Hine of the Tribune wrote this detailed article about the board, showing its size in comparison to other things and people (Joe Maddon is shown for reference), and giving this detail on how it will be installed:

It all started in Brookings, S.D.

There, employees of the company Daktronics, a maker of scoreboards and video boards since 1968, assembled Wrigley Field's 42-foot-high, 95-foot-wide board piece-by-piece in 14-inch by 14-inch squares the company calls "modules."

The employees then put 20 to 80 modules together to form "panels" that will display the images on the board.

Those panels were shipped recently to Wrigley Field, where over the next few weeks they will be assembled into the final product.

So -- no board being lifted in by helicopter, which was a rumor flying (ha!) around. Pity. That would be a scene to watch. When the lights were installed at Wrigley Field in July 1988, that's exactly how they did it -- lower them in by helicopter. Somewhere I have some photos I took of that -- one of these days I'll locate them and scan them and post them here.

Anyway, there's one other thing I've learned. The steel supports you've seen in left field in David's photos over the last few days? That's only about half the height of the board. Eventually, the top of the board will be just about as high as the center-field scoreboard, as viewed from the field.

The rest of the article discusses reactions to the board. Here's a salient quote from someone whose stadium includes one of the biggest such boards around:

"
What they will find when they put their board up is they're going to have a lot of criticism," said Derrick Hall, president of the Diamondbacks, who installed a new board in 2008. "They're going to have a lot of fans that don't want it; they don't like it. Then they're going to get used to it. They're going to depend on it."

This is very much what happened when lights were installed. Many were against it, many others for them. Over time lights simply became part of the fabric of Wrigley Field and now you'd have to be in your late 30s or older to have any real memory of the ballpark without lights.

I've long been in favor of a video board at Wrigley and, based on the sample videos shown at the Cubs Convention, this will be a useful addition to the park, tastefully done. Hope it always stays that way.