Massive screen on way
A $500,000 big-screen scoreboard is planned for Yarrow Stadium in October.
The 70sqm LED screen is under construction in America and will replace the old electronic scoreboard that embarrassingly failed during an NPC rugby match at the New Plymouth stadium last year.
The scoreboard screen will also be able to show live action, including advertisements and replay footage.
At $489,000 it is the single most costly part of a near $1 million upgrade of the stadium that includes work on grandstand elevators, refurbishment of the Legends Lounge and a fibre internet connection to the New Plymouth District Council.
The work is fully funded by the Taranaki Regional Council.
The scoreboard screen is nearly double the size of Taranaki's $1.15 million community big screen currently used during rugby matches at the stadium.
Oceania LED won the contract to build the new scoreboard. This is the same company that manages the community big screen on behalf of Sport Taranaki.
Taranaki Rugby Football Union chief executive Mike Collins said the new scoreboard did not necessarily mean they would stop hiring the community big screen for Super 15 and NPC games as many grounds now used two screens for replays and promotions.
"We definitely haven't made that decision yet," he said.
"This year we are certainly going to use the [community] big screen.
"As far as match enhancement, fans have told us that they want it."
Ross Fulton, of Sport Taranaki, said the profitability of the community screen would not be harmed even if the new scoreboard meant the TRFU did not hire it for NPC matches, as it will do for its five home games this season.
"Two screens will still be required for the big games.
"In that sense it is absolutely fantastic for the stadium and I imagine it will be quite spectacular.
"And there is still a need for a big screen for other events in the community."
He said the screen is hired out between 40 and 50 times a year.
Three companies tendered to replace the stadium scoreboard with an outdoor video display screen. Prices ranged from $258,388 to $489,000.
The old scoreboard will remain in action until October and has now been in play so long its past has become uncertain.
It has been linked with the 1990 Commonwealth Games held here in New Zealand but also the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
Mike Nield, of the Taranaki Regional Council, said it needed to be replaced because it had basically reached the end of its life.
"It's old and they cannot get parts for it any more," he said.
Taranaki Daily News