MOORHEAD-The Concordia Cobbers are adding a $1 million upgrade to the west side of Jake Christiansen Stadium.
Earlier this week, the school broke ground on a new scoreboard that includes a high-definition video board and new sound system. The Daktronics video board is expected to be ready for the football team's home opener on Sept. 1 against Nebraska Wesleyan.
"The capabilities are endless for us," Cobbers head football coach Terry Horan said. "The game-day atmospheres are going to be big time."
Horan said six donors paid for the project, including the Scott and Shelly Neal family. The Neals were the lead donor and will have their names on the scoreboard, which will be located beyond the west end zone.
Scott and Shelly Neal's sons, Griffin and Logan, are both former Concordia football players. Griffin Neal was a record-setting quarterback for the Cobbers. Horan said a scoreboard dedication is planned for homecoming when Concordia hosts St. Thomas on Sept. 29.
"The sound system needed updates. The scoreboard needed updates," Horan said. "This is going to bring a lot of excitement and electricity. ... The people who have these boards, there are so many cool things they are able to do."
The high-definition video board is around 18 feet high and 32 feet wide, Horan said. The overall scoreboard structure is about 50 feet wide and around 44 feet tall from the ground to the top.
The back side of the new scoreboard will face Eighth Street South and will be maroon with the Concordia "C" logo.
"Having this there is going to be a huge addition for our branding," Horan said. "Athletics are your front porch. It might not be the most important room in the house, but it is the most visible."
Concordia athletic director Rachel Bergeson said video replays and enhanced sound are two of the key features for the new scoreboard.
"For the fan experience, the new sound system is important," Bergeson said. "They will be able to see plays maybe a little more up close."
The current scoreboard off the east end zone will remain there for the upcoming season, but will be repurposed in the future, Bergeson said.
Jake Christiansen Stadium had artificial turf installed in 2010 and a new locker room facility opened in 2014.
"What's exciting about it is it's going to help in our recruiting process," Horan said. "Recruiting is our lifeblood."