New Jumbotron enhances spectator experience


Spectator sports have always been a huge part of the school spirit and culture at BG, but one new addition to the Grant Blaney stadium may be a key ingredient to the crowd culture at sporting events from this spring and beyond.

The new screen was built where the previously existing scoreboard stood, but it wasn’t a purchase from the athletic department or even the Bison Boosters Association. In fact, it was given to the school from District 214 directly, along with Wheeling High School. Both these schools had the oldest scoreboards, which led the district to believe it was time for a change.

“It’s going to be an opportunity for us to publicize our own people and our own programs,” Bison Athletic director Matt Myers said. “It’s really going to be comprehensive”.

That means that on top of the beloved Friday Night Lights traditions, the large screen can be used during events of lacrosse, soccer, track and field, and possibly even during an outdoor graduation ceremony, but in order to run a system like this, the athletic department plans to train individuals on how to run the system, specifically students involved in the media or graphic design programs.

“The new scoreboard is a great addition to all the different programs that use the stadium,” Head varsity football coach Jeff Vlk said. “It will be exciting to see how different programs take advantage and involve the media students.”

According to Vlk the new scoreboard will be able to display instant replays, close-ups and more.

“This will really enhance the experience overall for the crowd especially,” Vlk said. “Spectators will be able to get a lot more information faster.”

Additionally, the new scoreboard will allow BG to promote other activities, events and happenings around the school. The screen also has the potential not only for instant replays but for slow motion replays, videos from alternate angles, and even the classic make-some-noise crowd hype up videos. 

With all the creativity that BG students have, there’s no doubt the screen will be utilized in new and exciting ways. According to Myers the introduction of the screen benefits not just the athletes, but parents and spectators as well.

“It’s really an even spread,” Myers said.

Although the new Jumbotron was installed last semester, it will be used for the first time during the Spring sports’ seasons. 

“Last year, the scoreboard would tend to glitch during games,” junior media student Kyle Rickman said. “So it was definitely time for an upgrade. With Spring sports starting, I’m excited to see it in action.”