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Fargodome could install larger video boards next summer

FARGO - Management at the Fargodome is moving forward on a $7.5 million to $9 million project to add large video boards to the north and south ends of the stadium.

Two of the Fargodome's four video boards are seen in these two corners of the dome. The Fargodome has four video boards. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

FARGO - Management at the Fargodome is moving forward on a $7.5 million to $9 million project to add large video boards to the north and south ends of the stadium.

The Dome Authority's finance committee voted Wednesday to pursue a full design and financing options for the project, with installation tentatively set for summer 2016.

The existing video boards in the Fargodome's four corners were installed in 2002 and are "anemic by today's standards," said Josh Beaudoin of WJHW, a Dallas-based architecture and planning firm that often works on athletic facilities.

Beaudoin, who was presenting to the building and finance committees, proposed improving the resolution on those boards, adding video boards to the concourse and installing two main video boards at the north and south ends of the stadium that would be much larger than the existing scoreboards, likely 30 feet by 70 feet or 30 feet by 100 feet.

The additions could also include a large screen that would hang from the ceiling at the back of the southern stands when the stadium is in arena mode - for example, during basketball games.


Beaudoin's firm and Michael J. Burns Architects, based in Moorhead, would also update the video control room and the stat boards on the east and west sides of the stadium, perhaps switching to digital on two of the four stat boards to enable advertising.

Members of the committees seemed excited by the increased opportunities for advertisers, including a "moment of exclusivity," when all video boards in the stadium would show the same ad display after the Bison score a field goal, for example.

"I strongly know there will be an increase in revenue, I just don't know what that is," Fargodome General Manager Rob Sobolik said to the group.

Digital advertising is valuable because the ads can change, featuring more businesses and attracting more attention.

"You see the flip and your eye catches it and you turn to it, versus static where you just ignore it," Sobolik said.

Video boards also have greater flexibility for event-specific advertising, Beaudoin said, and allow for all-screen replays or moving ads, which cost more.

Sobolik told the group he has already arranged for some of the Fargodome's existing advertising contracts to end next September, when the installation would likely be done.

On Wednesday, committee members did not decide which size the largest video boards would be, but they were leaning toward 30 by 70 feet or 30 by 100 feet.


A 30-by-70-foot board would show an image twice as tall and three times as wide as the current video board images, while a 30-by-100-foot board would show one twice as tall and five times as wide, Beaudoin said. The former would cost $1.5 million to $1.7 million, while the larger board would cost $2.1 million to $2.4 million.

Beaudoin said he'd also like to explore making the corner boards slightly taller to fit with the architecture of the Fargodome.

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