Center Board Could Get St. Louis Back in Game for Final Four

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Below is a news summary by Chris Scott, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.

(from Sports Business Journal, February 20, 2012)A new proposal made by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission could help make the Edward Jones Dome a host to a future NCAA Final Four. In early February, the commission released a $124 million plan to upgrade the 17-year-old stadium to accommodate its anchor tenant, The St. Louis Rams of the NFL. The installation of an overhanging video scoreboard is the signature installment of the three-year renovation plan. Current designs for the scoreboard call for one that measures 96 feet wide and 27 feet tall. Those measurements are small when compared to scoreboards at other NFL venues, but the proposed size is ideal when considering the dome’s age and retrofit challenges.

One requirement in the club’s 30-year lease is to ensure that the facility remains on par with other “top tier” NFL venues. As a result, the Edward Jones Dome has undergone numerous renovations. The installation of an overhanging video score board is the signature installment of the three-year renovation plan.

A large, overhanging, video scoreboard adds to an already ideal setting to host an NCAA Final Four. Since 2009, the NCAA has required venues that host a Final Four to have a video scoreboard. Having a permanent one will not only make the venue more attractive, but will also keep the NCAA from having to provide one. “More than likely [a center-hung board] will help with our pursuit of the Final Four and other prestigious NCAA events,” said Nick Langella, who is the dome’s Senior Vice President and General Manager.

The new video scoreboard could possibly open up new revenue streams for the Edward Jones Dome, as well. The installation of an overhanging board could result in the removal of the two end-zone screens that were installed in 2009, which would free up space for advertising or premium club spaces. However, the removal of the two current scoreboards is not part of the current proposal by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission.