Jordan-Hare could have a new video board facing across from college football’s largest next season.
The Auburn University Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Friday to initiate a $6 million proposal to purchase and install a new video board for the north end zone in the stadium.
The screen, which Associate Vice President for Facilities Dan King estimated will cost around $5 million by itself, would replace the existing board that was installed in 1998. The project would be funded with revenue it creates through advertising and Auburn Athletics funds.
The video board is about half the size of the 10,830-square-foot one standing in the south end zone, the largest in college sports.
King said the University has estimated 15–20 percent of all fans at Jordan-Hare can’t see the current screen without fully turning around. The problem is especially bad for students, King said, who face away from the board.
“This north end zone video board would allow pretty much everybody in the stadium to see video replays wherever they sit,” King said. “It’s an attempt to really improve the fan experience.”
Trustees expressed their concerns about the priority of a new video board and a lack of information about a comprehensive long-term plan for Jordan-Hare.
The board approved a massive plan to expand and upgrade the north side of the stadium in 2015. That project has since fallen by the wayside, with construction of a $28 million “game day support facility,” and locker room renovation in the south end zone area, expected to be completed by August 2018, taking priority.
The north end zone plan approved in 2015 included a video board upgrade.
The north concourse was expanded before the current football season began from 27 feet to 43 feet to improve pedestrian traffic.
The project will need final approval before the video board is purchased and construction begins, and the board instructed Auburn Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs to present trustees with more information about the long-term plan of the stadium before they vote on the final stage of approval at the board's meeting in November.
“I’m comfortable that the board is going to want to ultimately move forward with this, but I also feel there’s enough questions that we need to test the brakes,” said District 1 Trustee B.T. Roberts.
The board also approved the initiation of projects for renovations of the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms and new player development buildings and improvements for both Plainsman Park and the Jane B. Moore Softball Complex.