CHICAGO -- Three new video boards grace the inside of U.S. Cellular Field, and the Chicago White Sox already like what they see.Senior vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer shared footage of the fresh technology with a player."Hey, look, a big league ballpark," the player told Boyer.Starting with
CHICAGO -- Three new video boards grace the inside of U.S. Cellular Field, and the Chicago White Sox already like what they see.
Senior vice president of sales and marketing Brooks Boyer shared footage of the fresh technology with a player.
"Hey, look, a big league ballpark," the player told Boyer.
Starting with Friday's home opener, fans will be able get a glimpse of the video boards installed in left, center and right field. Originally budgeted for about $11.4 million, the project cost less than $7.4 million after a competitive bidding process, Illinois Sports Facilities Authority executive director Lou Bertuca said.
The boards in left field and right field are about 2,500 square feet, while the center-field board covers about 8,000 square feet, four times bigger than the board used from 2003-15.
"We're excited to show what it looks like to go from having the smallest video board in baseball to one of the best displays we'd be able to have," Boyer said.
Issues with the previous video boards included flickering and missing display sections. Boyer was concerned the right-field board would stop operating before the end of last season.
"A 100-degree day, the battery packs, they don't make them anymore," Boyer said. "You're connecting all sorts of things to just make them work. They wouldn't have worked this year. I was very pleased we got through last year with them still functioning."
The new boards' 10-millimeter pixel resolution will display game highlights, stats and social media posts from fans.
On the center-field board, the White Sox displayed a new video during a media tour on Tuesday. Narrated by Chicago native Chance the Rapper, the video will debut for fans at the home opener. The video features game footage, city scenes and 2005 World Series memories.
"You couldn't find a brighter day [than] today, and it handled the sun perfectly," Bertuca said. "Imagine it at nighttime, especially after [first baseman Jose] Abreu's hitting a couple dingers and the fireworks are going off. It's really going to be great for the fan experience."
The video boards are just one of the ballpark's new attractions. Others include:
⦁ Food, including "tater tachos" (tater tots covered in nacho cheese and jalapenos), bacon cheddar pretzel dogs, cheesy beef sandwiches and Italian beef pizza.
⦁ Giveaways, including Abreu "plush bleacher creatures" on April 23, Chris Sale "K-Counter" bobbleheads on May 7 and White Sox Hawaiian shirts on June 11.
⦁ A multiyear Coca-Cola partnership.
⦁ The Xfinity Fundamentals section has a new "garage area" where fans can watch the action and see new products.
"Our goal with our 81 games and hopefully more is to 'wow' somebody every single time they come into the ballpark," Boyer said.
Sarah Trotto is a contributor to MLB.com.