Wildcat Stadium will soon have an upgraded video scoreboard, benefiting athletics, band and various community events.
The video board — which will cost $1,020,900 to purchase and install — was approved by trustees at their meeting at Temple Independent School District headquarters, 401 Santa Fe Way.
An additional $1,500 would be needed to cover engineering costs.
Superintendent Bobby Ott said the installation would take place no later than the end of June, while payments would not begin until August.
Most of the funding for the scoreboard is expected to come from advertising, almost half of which is reportedly committed.
“The current equipment is absolutely obsolete,” Ott said. “For the past several years there has been talk in the community … asking us to explore a replacement. We have kicked this can down the road for several years.”
Ott noted how the district has entered a window of opportunity for upgrading the stadium’s nearly 14-year-old scoreboard and Jumbotron.
“This June we actually make our last loan payment as a school district that we have carried for 12 years … That’s a long term,” Ott said.
That loan encompassed not only the scoreboard but repairs to the track and field. Ott said the annual loan payment throughout the duration of those 12 years was about $140,000.
“If we’re continued to commit to that ($140,000) amount that’s already been obligated for the last 12 years — which basically means not accruing an additional expense to our budget in subsequent years — If we were just to continue to pay that amount for five more years that would be $700,000,” Ott said. “Our desire is to go into this as a shared expense … for the school district to not front the entire cost or pay for the video board.”
Ott emphasized how the district plans to accomplish just that with the help of local businesses.
“There are some advertising opportunities and marketing opportunities with our businesses that are extraordinary,” Ott said. “The next step is to set up a sponsorship program at different levels that allow local businesses the opportunity to use our space on the board in a customized manner. In discussion with the facilities committee, it was determined that we as a school district and Daktronics … That we needed to secure a minimum of $360,000 in sponsorships from local businesses.”
He highlighted how these commitments have already been rolling and are signed.
“I’m happy to report that we have $450,000 in commitment that is signed from local businesses for sponsorships and we are not finished,” Ott said.
The current scoreboard and Jumbotron — funded by revenue bonds — was approved for manufacturing and installation by Spectrum in June 2006. That cost rose from an initial estimate of $372,665 to $453,884, the Telegram previously reported.
“This is something the community has been asking about and wanting to see an upgrade and improvement from our current board right now,” school board president Dan Posey said. “I was at the girls soccer game Friday night at Wildcat Stadium with my family. I was sitting with my mom and she looked over to the board and said ‘you know the district needs to get another board.’ It’s not just for football, it’s for all the different athletic events that take place plus other things that go in the stadium.”