Aeros announce ballpark improvements, new HD scoreboard
The Akron Aeros celebrated an Eastern League Championship win last fall, and with a new season on the loom, they’re looking to win over fans with some ballpark improvements.
On Tuesday morning, the team announced the installation of a new video scoreboard. Team owner Ken Babby made the announcement at Canal Park alongside Akron mayor Don Plusquellic.
The scoreboard, estimated at a cost of $1.65 million, will feature a variety of enhanced interactions, including instant replays, in-game promotions, current statistics and game information. The 281 trillion color LED display will measure five times larger than the previous scoreboard, featuring dimensions of 25’2” by 67’2” feet. Additionally, a digital line scoreboard will be installed below the main video board, and a 6’ by 54’ foot ribbon board will be constructed in left field just beyond the outfield wall. This accumulates for 2,314 total square feet of LED scoreboard, a significant difference in comparison to the previous 450 square feet.
“We decided [there’s] no better way than to go big with our new commitment to Akron than to put in the finest video systems that we could find anywhere in baseball,” Babby said. He also noted the display will feature the highest grade of HD video available.
Babby said the display will be the largest in AA-level baseball, and the fifth largest in the minor leagues. The Buffalo Bisons currently house the largest LED video display in the minors, according to the team’s website. The use of five HD cameras, some of which will be wireless, will be applied in conjunction with the scoreboard so that scenes around the entire ballpark can be displayed.
Fan experience was the prime factor in the team’s decision to implement the new scoreboard. “This is going to make a huge difference in terms of fan experience here,” Babby explained. The $1.65 million project is just part of the $3.5 million plans for ballpark renovations that will be executed by the Aeros over the next two years.
“When fans walk into Canal Park on April 4, they will be welcomed with a totally new fan experience,” Babby noted. “Just part of that is this new video board, and there are a lot of fun things to look forward to in 72 days.”
Mayor Plusquellic emphasized Babby’s dedication to improving the team and ballpark. “We’re really thrilled and hope the community will be engaged,” Plusquellic said. “The new scoreboard will be a real wow factor for fans here and it’s part of the minor league experience.”
Plusquellic also asked that fans return the dedication to the team and the city. “Let’s fill the stadium,” he said. “Let’s make sure that we respond to this commitment and investment in Akron and this facility.” Plusquellic noted the team’s achievement last fall as it took the Eastern League title, stating that the team deserves a sell-out crowd on Opening Day.
Fans will also receive the chance to watch movies on the scoreboard when the team is off or on the road, according to Babby.
Construction of the new scoreboard begins immediately, as removal of the old board will begin as soon as Tuesday afternoon.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.