Depiction provided by Buffalo Bisons
The Buffalo Bisons promised a "Big" announcement Wednesday afternoon and they delivered during a press conference in Coca-Cola Field, unveiling that they're in the process of installing a new high-definition video display in center field that will be the largest board in the minor leagues. The start of the work has been visible to cars driving behind left field on Oak Street.
"The Bisons TV HD Board" will be 80 feet long x 33 feet high -- more than triple the size of the current video board that was installed in 1999. The team is funding the entire cost of the $2.5 million project, including the board, HD cameras and control booth updates needed. The video system will be used for the ballpark scoreboard as well as the team's Internet broadcasts and its television broadcasts on Time Warner Cable and SportsNet New York.
The board will be installed by Daktronics, Inc. of South Dakota, which has done the ballpark's first two versions and has a board in 26 of the 30 major league stadiums.
Mayor Byron Brown was also on hand in Pettibones Grille to announce that the city is installing a new energy-efficient lighting system to replace the one that was installed at the park during construction in 1987. The corroded outfield light towers will be replaced by galvanized steel versions that will be about 20 feet shorter but will provide more light and be cheaper to operate.
Brown said the city is footing that bill, nearly $750,000, will be eligible for rebates from National Grid for the project and should save more than $565,000 in energy costs over the 25-year life of the system.
"This wil ensure Coca-Cola's place as one of the premier minor-league parks in all of baseball even though it's 24 years old," said Bisons VP/General Manager Mike Buczkowski. "And it will ensure that this ballpark remains the premier sports and family entertainment venue in our region. It goes without saying it will remain a Buffalo landmark and a place we can all be proud of for many years to come."
"As great as this fan experience has been, it's going to be even greater," added Brown. "I'm certainly looking very much toward Opening Day at the ballpark [April 7 against Syracuse] to see all these improvements in place."