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New scoreboard, food unveiled at Oracle Park

@goodforball
March 22, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are guaranteed to improve vastly this year ... off the field, at least. A new scoreboard, increased seating and ticketing options, and a broader variety of snacks at concession stands promise to re-energize the fan experience at Oracle Park, which is approaching its 20th season

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are guaranteed to improve vastly this year ... off the field, at least.

A new scoreboard, increased seating and ticketing options, and a broader variety of snacks at concession stands promise to re-energize the fan experience at Oracle Park, which is approaching its 20th season of existence.

Giants executive vice president in charge of communications Staci Slaughter said on Friday at a ballpark open house for media members that the club has invested approximately $20 million in upgrades -- the franchise's largest offseason capital improvements outlay ever. That includes $10 million for the scoreboard, which promises to be the most notable change.

The size of the display, about 153 feet wide and nearly 71 feet high, will be nearly 3 1/2 times the size of the previous version. That will make this scoreboard the third largest in the Major Leagues.

The new board also reflects the rapid technological upgrades made throughout the Major Leagues. The previous board ranked among the largest in the Majors and was only the third outfitted with HD technology when it was installed in 2007. By last season, it was the second oldest and fifth smallest scoreboard in the Majors.

"It was state-of-the-art in 2007. But we barely made it through last year," Giants senior vice president and chief information officer Bill Schlough said. "It's 2019 now."

The additional space on the scoreboard should help accommodate the fans' hunger for statistics.

"A couple of years ago, we never heard of the term 'launch angle.' Now, fans need more information," Giants executive vice president of business operations Mario Alioto said.

The Bay Bridge Series exhibition games against the A's on Monday and Tuesday in San Francisco will help scoreboard operators adjust to their freshly installed equipment.

"It's like driving a new car," Alioto said.

Taking a spin around the ballpark also will be a different experience. The Giants removed the last row of lower box seats in the promenade level and filled the space with a rail to accommodate beverages. From now on, when fans wander, they might not feel as aimless.

Giants executive vice president of administration Alfonso Felder pointed out that this adjustment will create more "social spaces" for fans.

"People moving around the building can stop and have a look at the field," Felder said. "We really do want to enhance the ability to have a more social dynamic within the building. People love to just walk around this park."

As for places to sit, the Giants will introduce the Cloud Club, a suite-level lounge; the Lexus Lounge, which previously was the umpires' dressing room; and the Waterfront, which will be located beyond the outfield.

In other Giants-related developments:

• Samplings of several new ballpark snacks were offered at the open house, including hamburgers and organic shakes from Super Duper; "impossible chili" from The Garden; chimichangas from Orlando's Caribbean BBQ; "grandma slices" of Tony's Pizza; Irish cheddar macaroni and cheese from Murph's; empanadas from Javi's Cooking; organic corn dogs from the Derby Grill; and Dri Dri Gelato.

• The Giants announced they will begin issuing mobile-only tickets for the 2019 season. Fans can access their mobile tickets through the free MLB Ballpark app.

• The club also announced it has sold 2.1 million tickets, mainly reflecting the season-ticket base of 26,000. The Giants have exceeded 3 million in attendance every year since 2010.

Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and has worked for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.