Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Press photo by Chuck HixsonA new scoreboard can be seen at Coca-Cola Park this year. Press photo by Chuck HixsonA new scoreboard can be seen at Coca-Cola Park this year.
Old display Old display

Pigs show off their new scoreboard

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs unveiled an impressive array of new video boards around the stadium on Thursday, with Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller flipping the switch to turn on the new displays. Every video board in the ballpark has been upgraded to HD technology, with many of the boards also being upgraded in size.

The main display board in left-center field is now over 3,000 square feet and is the largest video board in all of Minor League Baseball. The board will have the capability of showing replays, highlights from other games, player information and other information and graphics.

Boards on the first and third base fascia were also upgraded to HD and are nearly four times as large as the previous boards. The video screen located along the back wall of the bullpen is the same size as the previous board, but will also be HD. The two boards on either side of the main video board were also upgraded and will now be able to show more than just the dedicated time/temperature and speed of pitch information that was previously shown on those boards. The home plate video board, used primarily to show advertising during game broadcasts, was also upgraded, but remains the same size.

“This is easily the largest capital upgrade that we’ve made to the ballpark,” said Kurt Landes, the IronPigs general manager. “We wanted to do something that would truly add to the fan excitement and enjoyment during the games and we thought this was the perfect way to show our appreciation for the team’s 10th anniversary season.”

One final board is still being installed, but will be operational for opening night on April 6th. That board is a ribbon board on top of the billboard style advertising in left field. That board will be used primarily to display the linescore during the game, but will switch to other information between innings.

A key component of the new video boards is that they can all be synced to work together and show the same video or in effect, extend the video that is displayed on the main board.

“We’ll be able to do something such as have a ball bounce from one video board to the next or a car start on one board and basically drive around the ballpark from board to board,” said Landes.

Operating all of the boards is quite an undertaking, but IronPigs Director of Multimedia Design and Entertainment, Rob Sternberg is excited about the undertaking and looking forward to opening night.

“We had a full seven days of training on just part of the system and then more work with another company on a different aspect of the system,” said Sternberg. “It really is a great system and once you have everything entered and ready to go, the majority of the work is done.”

To unveil the board, Sternberg basically turned off the HD look and made the main display board to look as it was in each of the previous seasons. After a countdown, the old board seemingly exploded, revealing the new HD quality and truly showing the size of the new board.

With Sternberg at the controls, the boards went through a short display of some of the graphics and information that will be available for the ‘Pigs video staff to draw from during any game. The display bounced from static graphics like the IronPigs 10th Anniversary logo to part of a broadcast of a live golf match and into advertising displays and displays for things like a home run or enticements for fans to make more noise.

“There are just so many things that we can do with this board now that we couldn’t before and the fans will truly enjoy it. Seeing it in the daylight like this is nothing compared to how great it will look at night,” stressed Landes. “I think the fans are going to be impressed with the boards and how we’ll be able to use them to enhance the game.”

Muller was impressed with the financial outlay of the team to improve the ballpark and looked back on all of the improvements that have been made over the years. Landes and Muller spoke about some of the issues in getting things put together for the first opening night in 2008, including last minute things that had to be handled.

“The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have been the perfect tenant,” said Muller. “We never could have imagined that they would be this successful and that they would do so much for the community as they’ve done. I think the new boards will add a lot to the game.”