Since the Monday after the conclusion of the Michigan Wolverines’ 2022 football home schedule, construction workers have been hard at work to bring in the next generation of the in-game experience at the Big House.
On Wednesday afternoon, Michigan Athletics threw open the doors of the Big House to show off the progress made on their expansive new scoreboard project.
While only one of the scoreboards and none of the speakers were operational on Wednesday — the speakers are due to come online in the coming weeks while the south end zone board is on schedule to be ready by the first game — the size and scope of the project were still on full display.
Michigan Athletics showed off one of two new scoreboards at the Big House in a demonstration to media today. No audio yet as speakers are due to be fired up in the coming weeks. pic.twitter.com/frImob9qc1— David Woelkers Jr. (@DavidWoelkers) August 2, 2023
Per Associate Athletic Director of Communications Kurt Svoboda and project personnel on site, the new video boards measure 152 x 55 feet, a 118 percent increase in video space from the previous boards. The new scoreboard structures in total measure 179 x 62 feet, an 85 percent increase in the size of the previous structures.
While a definitive answer was unavailable, project personnel estimated the quality of the boards to be well above 4K resolution, providing a sharper image than ever before. With the additional space, there are plans to show out-of-town scores and more expansive in-game stats throughout the game, not just at scheduled intervals as in the past.
The audio upgrades involved a complete overhaul of the speakers on the concourse, as well as a far more expansive set of speakers within the north scoreboard itself, allowing for better sound balance no matter where you are in the bowl. Similar to the previous scoreboards, the technology is expected to have a 10-year lifespan, though future replacements will require considerably less construction.
The board technology itself is being constructed and wired by the electric division of Mitsubishi, who previously installed the scoreboards at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
In addition to the expansive work at the stadium itself, Svoboda confirmed plans to replace other outdoor stadium scoreboards on campus, as well as those within Cliff Keen Arena. At least one of these side projects — funded by a surplus in actual cost from the original budget of the project — is already installed, at U-M Soccer Stadium on South Campus.