Friday, May 4, 2012

Vinik Pumps More Money Into Forum

Last year, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik said he didn't need public dollars to make $40 million in upgrades to the St. Pete Times Forum. This year, the venue's name has changed...but Vinik's tune has not.

Not only did Vinik upgrade the venue without any pressure on local governments to share the bill, but he's now planning on another $5 million upgrade to the Forum's video board:
A $5 million video scoreboard will be installed at the Tampa Bay Times Forum before the start of the 2012-13 season, the team announced Thursday.

The upgraded video display board will feature the largest high-definition, center-hung video displays in any U.S. or Canadian arena. It will include a state-of-the-art control room and allow for a true high-definition signal with 1,296 lines of resolution.

The new video board comes on the heels of last summer's $40 million in upgrades that included a pipe organ, hanging Tesla coils and padded seats in the upper and lower bowls.

The new board, produced by Daktronics Inc., features four video boards. The two largest will be 28 feet high and 50 feet wide — reaching from blue line to blue line — and the two smaller boards will be 28 feet high and 20 feet wide.

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is privately funding the project, the team said in a news release.

The current scoreboard, installed in 2007 at a cost of $4 million, is 16 feet high and 28 feet wide on each of the four sides. The current video system offered an HD-quality display, but the new system will offer true high-definition picture quality.

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